Chorusing: Symposium & Performance Experiment

By Emma Smith

Part of the Performance as Process programme at Delfina Foundation, London

A one-day symposium exploring the relationship of voice to transcription – of utterance and the written score. Co-ordinated by Emma Smith as part of her research process, the symposium which took place on 11 June as part of the Performance as Process culminated with a performance experiment by the artist using a new score for collective voicing developed during her residency at Delfina Foundation.

The symposium included contributions from specialists in a variety of fields, including Elsa De Luca, Palaeographer, (University of Bristol), and Jerome Lewis, Anthropologist, (University College London). The talks and workshop during the day lead to a final performance inviting improvisation of an architectural score by vocalists and the public.

Smith’s new work Chorusing has developed out of her 5Hz project, initiated with an exhibition at Arnolfini, Bristol (2015), which presented a new singing language that transcends cultural linguistic barriers. In this new work, Smith is working towards the creation of a new collective vocal scoring system. This research draws on traditions of polyphonic song, Gregorian transcription and the history of the chorus looking at the relationship of voice, action and materiality as well as theories of a universal tongue, proposed in radical Aristolelianism, through to Dante and Umberto Eco.


With support from Delfina Foundation’s family of individual supporters.

The artist would like to thank:

Delfina Entrecanales and everyone at Delfina Foundation

Ida Casilli

Lieve Carchon

Owen Hopwood

Jerome Lewis

Elsa De Luca