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Brooks Frederickson’s interactive audio installation asks us how we consume music

If you peer into the glass windows connecting the Rubenstein Arts Center to the outside world, you might notice an arrangement of six armchairs, each connected to its own pair of headphones and microphones, facing outward into an otherwise open space. The stripped-back presentation of the Ruby’s newest installation might seem underwhelming at first, but there is more to this room than meets the eye. The real magnitude of this unique aesthetic experience becomes clear only when you step inside and start to listen.

“Here to Hear // Hear to Here” is an interactive audio installation in the Ruby’s Murphy Agora. When participants take a seat and put on their headphones, they are instructed to match the specific pitch played in their ears. Once they sing on key, the sound of their voice triggers music to play. Every interaction with the installation results in a new, spontaneous organization of music, which creates an ephemeral audio experience. “

“Here to Hear // Hear to Here” is an individual experience for participants, but observers hear a very different version of the music. Instead of hearing the musical cues inside the headphones, they only witness the droning pitches of the six participants which sync in and out of harmony. The contrast between the music inside and outside of the headphones is a central aspect of the project’s artistic vision: The installation asks us to consider the relationship between music and location.

Composer Brooks Frederickson created this unique sound experiment as part of the Ruby’s art project program. The installation is additionally supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts. Frederickson composed the music played inside the headphones, which features digitally manipulated versions of music from the new Grammy-winning music choir The Crossing, supported by electronic percussion. 

“For a while, it seemed like I had

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