Unsung evoked the suppressed voices of women in Philadelphia’s Callowhill neighborhood, from its earliest days to the present moment. A collaboration with video artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, we created a timeline in image and sound, interweaving various narratives struck or buried from “official” histories: an 18th-century prostitute, the wife of an Irish railroad worker, an undocumented immigrant stuck in a cycle of dependency. The immersive installation included collectively improvised and interpreted recordings by the vocalists, layers of compositions derived entirely from their voices, audio from live streams of the local police precinct, and activated harmonic standing waves and nodes.
Over 1,200 visitors walked through the tunnel beneath the Reading Viaduct for this one-night-only public art event. Commissioned by the American Composer’s Forum, the Mural Arts Project, and the Rail Park.
(A Guide to the Stranger or) Pocket Companion for Unsung by Kelsey Halliday Johnson (pdf)