Murmurs: What does sound feel like?

An interactive exhibition in Toronto is challenging people to experience music beyond sound – to explore the look and feel of music.

Walking into The Great Hall in Toronto’s trendy Queen West neighbourhood, the energy is noticeably strong. The rooms are filled with artistic, young, and fascinated participants exploring the various interpretations of sound developed by the artists.

Murmurs aims to capture the essence and sentiments of listening to a song through various digital media that include light installations, experimental video and projections, virtual reality experiences, motion graphics and other interactive exhibits,

Inspired by five songs created by notable Canadian artists, 21 artists have collaborated to create 15 interactive installations for the event.

River Tiber – No Talk – one of the songs used in the Murmurs Installations

The music plays through the entire venue, and you’re free to move from installation to installation, and to figure out how each is a reflection of the songs you’re hearing. Some pieces invite reflection, such as the giant melting sphere of ice located in the centre of the room. Other pieces asks the observer to contribute, and draw or colour a portion of the artwork.

One of the most fascinating installations is the virtual reality (VR) exhibit created by Outpost VR. Several plushy bean bags lay on the floor, occupied by people engaged in an entirely different world. Through the VR headsets they wear, they are transported to a variety of new locations, each filmed to match the tone of a song. The VR footage changes with the songs, and takes the participant from Toronto, to a dense forest, to a rap battle, and finally to a South African slum.

The experience is so immersive, most participants completely leave behind the environment of the actual room they’re in. Watching them laugh, reach out to try and touch the things they’re seeing, and just be fully engaged in their VR experience offers people on the outside a seriously futuristic sight.

The experimentation taken by the artists and organizers of this event has pushed the boundaries of the future of music and art.

By merging our senses, the experience of music becomes far more engaging, and well rounded. The exhibitions also offer examples of how new technology can be utilized to enhance our experiences of music and art, and provide us with a glimpse of what’s to come.

To learn more about Murmurs, please visit their website.

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