Synchronised Headphone Choir

Photo: Keith Michael

Synchronised Headphone Choirs are a way to use technology to enable groups that haven’t previously met to join together in the ritual of singing together. This is not to be confused with a ‘virtual’ choir:   The works are about inclusion and the ritual of singing  together.

The choir need no previous singing experience and can participate by singing along with a professional singer who is heard over headphones.

Pete’s setting of Dylan Thomas’s poem And Death Shall Have No Dominion in New York in 2014 was the Pete’s first work for synchronised headphone choir.  Here is how it worked:

  • The choir began dispersed across the Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • They were synchronised to an atomic clock via a  specially created app.
  • At exactly 11.00am on June 21st  the singers  began singing, either as individuals or in small groups, wherever they were in the city.
  • Over the next 45 minutes they walked routes that gradually converged, moving from solo singers and small groups to eventually become a single choir, gathered together at Rockefeller Park.

A film of the event can be seen here:

And Death Shall Have No Dominion was featured in the New York Times as a part of Make Music New York.