Distributed Listening: Artists as Citizens – Citizens as Artists: A hands-on workshop using a newly developed listening app (funded by the AHRC Follow-on Impact fund)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther contribution to conferencepeer-review


As part of an AHRC funded Impact grant I developed a new listening app, called LiveShout. It builds on research into network music performance, where I investigated how performers make music together when not in the same physical space, specifically how performers listen to each other. In network performances, subtle differences between being ‘here’ and ‘there’, between the ‘self’ and the ‘other’, between ‘listening’ and ‘being listened to’ and between body and instrument are revealed. The custom-designed app allows us to extract a type of fragile listening - what we call ‘distributed listening’ - which is present in the network, to an environment outside the university context, in order to enable participants to play and create together in a distributed setting. The workshop ties into the conference theme of ‘Promising new practices’, specifically into ideas of socially engaged practice and empowering audience engagement. The app was used in the creation of two diverse socially engaged theatre shows (http://www.socasites.qub.ac.uk/distributedlistening/index.php/event): In Manchester – an immersive show entitled “Hidden” explored ideas about the future of caring. It was co-created by young carers and artists Annette Mees & Tom Bowtell. The show took place in ‘The Horsfall’ - 42nd Street’s new creative venue, supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people across Greater Manchester. In Belfast - performance artist Amanda Coogan developed a work entitled “Once More” which physically explored the site of the Lyric Theatre by guiding the audience through various spaces using their mobile phones. Performers were installed around the building in isolated sites, and the performance asked them to perform and to listen carefully to join their colleagues, via the app.  Each performance site explored the interpretations of Shakespeare’s Once More unto the breach speech, in a fragmented and re-contextualised way using loops, repetition and fragmentation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018
EventReflective Conservatoire Conference 2018: Artists as Citizens - The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Feb 201823 Feb 2018


ConferenceReflective Conservatoire Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • distributed listening
  • liveSHOUT
  • workshop
  • Improvisation


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