Flocks of Voices From Cardiff and Melbourne Share Their Beliefs this March at Chapter

Over 300 voice recordings of people’s beliefs, from Cardiff to Melbourne form an immersive sound installation, Belief System, presented at Chapter Arts Centre by Ranters Theatre.

Belief System features contributions from Cardiff residents including asylum seekers, school children, farmers, artists, students, office workers and many more. The installation consists of 92 sculptural speaker cones hung from above like inverted trumpets bringing the listener into a murmuration of beliefs. The views shared by citizens of Australia and Wales flock together and are programmed to both whisper from the speakers and flow above and around the listener building rhythms and patterns as they go. The beliefs vary every day, sharing different volumes, different thematic views, moving across the installation controlled by live data from a weather station on top of Chapter’s roof.

Adriano Cortese, artistic director of Ranters Theatre shared some reflections on the project:

“In June 2020, in the first year of the pandemic, I came across a podcast discussing how our authentic belief sit at the very base of our lives mediating out thoughts and actions. Around the same time, I began, along with many other people, to devote more time than usual thinking about what sort of world I was helping create.

“I think the idea of Belief System came from both of these strands. Belief Systems are not fixed, by nature they constantly change and adapt. It is our hope that the experience of Belief System will encourage visitors to introspect on what we value in life, how we relate to others, who we are, and who we want to be.”

Kit Edwards, Performance Curator at Chapter Arts Centre shared:

“Belief System will be the result of years of collaboration with Ranters Theatre, during which vital relationships have been forged between artists and international partners, that will likely extend beyond this moment. Centering the voices of our local community- from asylum seekers and school children to artists, students, and office workers, Belief Systems offers space for audiences to consider the role their beliefs play in shaping our environment.”

Accompanying this immersive installation is a book where the flocks of beliefs are transcribed in printed form. A quiet moment that allows visitors to connect in a different way, as a legacy for this project. Made in a time of significant global crises, Belief System acts as a container for the stories we tell ourselves to help define our individual and collective realities.