Audium: New Voices II


Audium is launching the second edition of the popular NEW VOICES artist-in-residence program. This time, the theater’s specially-built speaker environment will tell the stories of Bay Area Filipino culture, African immigrant origins, and a sci-fi tale where the world’s caregivers have all disappeared.

During three months of creation, the artists have explored sound movement, texture, and spatialization within Audium’s unique, pitch-black 176-speaker space. Artists Sharmi Basu, Alex Abalos and Ronald Peabody have transformed the theater into an otherworldly experience grounded in Bay Area roots. The residents have designed their own original spatial works and will perform their sound movement live. The show extends beyond the speaker space, spilling out into the lobby with elements of sound, electronics, poetry, graffiti and projection surrounding the audience from the moment they enter the building.

Sharmi Basu’s “Care is a Sinkhole” is an encompassing sci-fi audio work outlining the complexity of caregiving for people in struggle. It tells the story of a society reliant on caseworkers for its most marginalized people. As all caseworkers have disappeared into a sinkhole, an underground group tries to find remaining relics to recreate networks of care.

Sound artist, instrument fabricator and synthesizer nerd Alex Abalos has composed a six-chapter “encyclopedia of sound”- Soliloquy of Chaos- that chronicles the diverse, often-unrecognized sounds of San Francisco. Each evening, a different chapter of Abalos’s opus will be performed, thus making for a different experience each evening.

In Ronald Peabody’s AFRICALIEN, the audience is invited to observe and decipher a subject’s recorded brain activity after a traumatic plane event. Relating to the randomness of brain activity, Peabody asks for one’s acceptance of beauty in confusion.

Audium is the only theater of its kind in the world, pioneering the exploration of space in music for over 50 years. Listeners are bathed in sound which is moved about the space in real-time. “Sound sculptures” are performed in complete darkness in the 49-seat theater.

Audium: New Voices II premieres February 9th, 2023, and will play every weekend through April 1st. Shows are every Thursday, Friday & Saturday; doors are at 7:00pm and the show begins promptly at 7:30pm. Admission is $20-$30.