Huang Ruo: City of Floating Sounds at Aviva Studios

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Huang Ruo: City of Floating Sounds, image by Wenjun Miakoda Liang.
Image by Wenjun Miakoda Liang.

Huang Ruo: City of Floating Sounds at Aviva Studios, Manchester 6 — 8 June 2024 Tickets from £15.00 — Book now

Artist and composer Huang Ruo, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and creative technologist Josh Kopeček join forces to bring a unique and interactive symphony to Manchester.

Huang Ruo’s City of Floating Sounds uses cutting-edge creative technology to take the music out of the confines of a traditional concert hall and into the city. Pushing the boundaries of classical music performance, you will be guided by a bespoke app on your mobile phone as you make your way through the streets of Manchester towards Aviva Studios. As you walk, you will hear fragments of Huang Ruo’s reflective new work, recorded by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, before arriving at Aviva Studios for the world premiere of the full score performed live by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

City of Floating Sounds allows you to explore Manchester as never before.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of this fascinating piece is that as you get closer to Aviva Studios – and other wayfaring audience members – the sound expands to uncover more details in Ruo’s work. Meditative and enveloping, City of Floating Sounds allows you to explore Manchester as never before and the nature of the piece means that the path you choose – and the people you meet along the way – can all change what you hear.

Huang Ruo: City of Floating Sounds at Aviva Studios
Image courtesy of Wenjun Miakoda Liang.

City of Floating Sounds offers a wonderful way to reconnect with our city and meet others in a fresh new way. Making familiar city centre landmarks and well-trodden pathways appear somewhat strange; open your senses to the city and experience Manchester, its closeness and its people in a whole new light. Interactive and experimental, we love that finding other audience members amongst the shifting soundscape will create a richer sound.

Blending Chinese folk music with a Western avant-garde sound, artist and composer Huang Ruo is revered for his extraordinary style, gifted with the talent to transcend traditional lines between East and West. This is not the first time he has composed for Manchester’s urban landscape either – he created a site-specific audio work in Manchester Town Hall for Music for a Busy City at MIF17. Now, City of Floating Sounds brings Ruo together with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Creative Technologist Josh Kopeček from Echoes (a company specialising in unique sound experiences through app technology) to produce a classical concert like no other.

Open your senses to the city and experience Manchester, its closeness and its people in a whole new light.

You can set off on this musical journey from wherever works best for you. Suggested starting points (where you can meet with others) include Cathedral Gardens, Peel Park, Ordsall Park or Sackville Gardens. Alternatively, you can take your own route towards Aviva Studios too – you’ll just need to select a starting point between 20 and 25 minutes away from the venue. Guided by bespoke technology, you’ll be able to see other audience members making their way to the venue via the City of Floating Sounds app.


Huang Ruo: City of Floating Sounds at Aviva Studios, Manchester 6 — 8 June 2024 Tickets from £15.00 Book now


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