by Jane Garver
Jane Garver will reprise Voice Box in conjunction with two productions at The Alliance Theatre this fall: Harmony on the Alliance Stage; and Choir Boy on the Hertz Stage. The project will be installed in the lobbies and the parking deck.
In the month of August, Garver will begin to frequent areas around the Woodruff Arts Center to collect sound recordings of people singing. Garver will approach a person passing by and ask him/her to sing a song – a subtle performance for two. Repeating this action at various times and locations, she intends to achieve a spontaneous “sound map” of the area. An experiment in trust and reciprocity, Voice Box explores isolation versus connectivity in public spaces. A moment of vulnerability between two people, in the form of recorded song, becomes the piece.
Garver first presented Voice Box as part of FLUX 2011, for which she recorded people singing across the metro area. Andrew Alexander wrote of the work for Burnaway:
The boxes cast a warm and inviting glow, and if you stepped closer, you could hear singing emanating from inside. Garver recorded songs she collected from various passersby in places around Atlanta. They offered a splendid little fragment of contact, a new way of briefly communing in a typically disparate and isolating city. Even on a crowded street, you could put your head in close, or even inside. The strangers sang to you with tenderness or irony, conviction or casualness, and impressive skill or total lack of it, but always with a personal and revelatory intimacy. Each box contained a brief text detailing the location of the recording and perhaps a quote from the singer or the artist. Especially touching and funny was Garver’s apology to a singer for the random nature of the encounter. The stranger replied: "This isn’t random. This kind of thing happens all the time."