All That You Hear is All That Is Heard



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walking as research.

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37 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia

Walking piece details

Language English
Duration 35 minutes

Unlike a traditional audio walk, this iteration of the project is not an instructional walking tour. Snippets of stories are layered and echoed in the way that information might be recalled or stories passed down through generations – sometimes crisp and clear, sometimes muffled or incomplete. Impressions of place will be told through original score combining live stringed instruments, tuning forks, broken manipulated speech and experimental soundscape that move in and out of non linear time.

Drawing upon the history of the building, this is an important research project into one of the most culturally significant buildings in Melbourne’s CBD. Little information has been published on the tenants of the building and the artists, makers and specialty retailers that have – and continue to – operate out of it. This is their chance to have a voice and to share their stories. The memories that people have of this place are a fundamental part of the building’s social history. They can present a counter-narrative to the official history and encourage new engagement with the building in a time that we can’t rely on being able to physically visit it.

all that you hear is all that is heard is an experimental storytelling project using the motion sensors within our smartphones. The idea for this stemmed from Curator and Creative Producer Rachael Paintin. Site specific to the Nicholas Building (Melbourne, Australia), audio conversations with past and present tenants are woven into a composition that combines original score by Biddy Connor and The Letter String Quartet. The project was celebrated with a one-off live performance in October 2022.


Curated by Rachael Paintin
Composed by Biddy Connor and The Letter String Quartet
Directed and Edited by Biddy Connor
Produced by Rachael Paintin & Biddy Connor
Improvisations: The Letter String Quartet
Creative Coder: Steph O’Hara
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered: James Cecil
Assistant Engineers: George Armstrong and Aaliyah Roadknight

The Letter String Quartet are:
Violin & Voice: Steph O’Hara
Violin & Voice: Lizzy Welsh
Viola & Voice: Biddy Connor
Cello & Voice: Zoë Barry
Thank you to all the tenants of the Nicholas Building, past, present and future. Thank you for keeping the city creative.

Special thanks to the following people for sharing your stories:

Anna Varendorf, Bryan Graydon, Dario Vacirca, Emile Zile, Gail Smith, Ian George, Isobel Knowles, Jason Patterson, Jeremy Ley, Jose Zarpan, Julieanne Axford, Lou Klerks, Louise McDonald, Nell Fraser, Robyn Annear, Robyn Bunting, Stephen McLauglin, Van Sowerine, Victoria Mason, Vikkhi Blackthorne

Near 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia

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