Emma Smith

PREVIEW: Thursday 29 November, 6-8pm
EXHIBITION: Friday 30 November – Saturday 9 February
OPENING TIMES: Thursday – Saturday, 11am-6pm or by appointment

Primary are delighted to host Emma Smith’s 5Hz exhibition this winter, as the first stage of touring project in partnership with HOME (Manchester) and Wysing Arts Centre (Cambridgeshire). Through the tour, a series of connected exhibitions and events will build upon each other, developing conversations around language and the musicality of the human voice. At the centre of the work is the idea of the human voice as a vehicle for social connection, and the tour will offer an opportunity to explore this with diverse audiences, across different languages.

5Hz is a sound installation centred around the invention of a new singing language designed to strengthen social connections. Developed following a year-long research process examining psychological and neurological responses to the human voice, the 5Hz language comprises a set of sounds that transcend language barriers. Visitors to the exhibition can learn the language and begin using it within 15 minutes.

Euphonia – which premiered earlier this year at the Bluecoat in Liverpool – is an ambitious new sound installation based on the musicality of social interactions. The work was developed through public experiments and workshops with world experts in music, psychology and the brain. In April 2019, 5Hz and Euphonia will be brought together for the first time at HOME in Manchester, followed by an off site live performance with Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge in May.

“Human relationship is at the core of my practice – the ways in which we relate and interact and how we might better understand the extraordinary and complex ways through which we come to exist together. This work reveals the musical nature of human conversation – an ancient practice embedded in our subconscious through which, while consciously chatting with one another, we are magically and subconsciously making music.” – Emma Smith


5Hz at Primary, Nottingham | Fri 30 Nov 2018 – Sat 9 Feb 2019

5Hz and Euphonia at HOME, Manchester | Sat 6 Apr 2019 – Sun 19 May 2019

Wysing Arts Centre: Off-site live performance in Cambridge | 18 May, 2019

Access at Primary: The 5Hz exhibition is in the first floor project space, which is only accessible via stairs. The audio language guide and research materials are also accessible in the Reading Room, which has level access. Please let staff know if you require any assistance.

Emma Smith: 5Hz & Euphonia Tour is a partnership between HOME (Manchester), Primary (Nottingham) and Wysing Arts Centre (Cambridgeshire), supported through the Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund.

5Hz was created in collaboration with Dr Lawrence White (Plymouth University) following research with Dr Emma Hornby and Dr Nina Kazanina (University of Bristol). 5Hz was originally commissioned by Arnolfini supported by Wellcome. 

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