Take an audio walk through the iconic Nicholas Building, soundtracked by The Letter String Quartet, brought to you by All That You Hear
All That You Hear is a collaboration between composer Biddy Connor of The Letter String Quartet and independent curator, Rachael Paintin. The first in the series, All That You Hear Is All That Is Heard, is a site-specific experiment in sound designed to take you on a journey through the iconic Nicholas Building in the heart of Melbourne's CBD on Swanston Street.
All That You Hear Is All That Is Heard
Open from this Sunday 30 October - April 2023
7 am - 7 pm Daily
and requires a personal smartphone with mobile data and QR code readability.
Experimenting with time and place, The Letter String Quartet play with musical illusions and allusions that mimic and respond to the architecture and social history of the Nicholas Building. Expect to be caught in a lyrical game of telephone as snippets of stories from tenants' past and present are woven into the music score.
We wanted to “pay tribute to the many tenants who have spent time forming a creative and dynamic community in the Nicholas Building. The layers of sound are designed so that each listen will be slightly and subtly different, with shifting layers that capture the essence of the building,” explains curator Rachael Paintin
The Nicholas Building has long been one of Melbourne’s most valuable cultural treasures and a hub for creative practitioners since its construction in 1926. For anyone that has been inside, it’s a time capsule. The intricate 1920s decor stands untouched, from the stained glass arcade to the copper accents. All That You Hear encourages its visitors to slow down and explore, amidst the hurry of Melbourne’s CBD.
“The cycles of sound are telling us something: that time is integral to space is integral to people is integral to storytelling. The Nicholas building is stationary but still, it moves. We don’t notice this movement until we look down and say, how did we get here?” — Hasib Hourani, for Nite Art 2019.
Launching on Sunday 30 October, the All That You Hear Is All That Is Heard audio experience will be available to listen to until the end of April 2023 and accessible via a series of QR codes within the building. To begin your journey, you can find the first QR code outside the lift on level 1 of the Nicholas building. On select floors, additional QR codes link to new soundtracks, while other floors leave the experience up to individual exploration.
The Nicholas Building is home to a community of over 200 artists, creatives and independent enterprises represented by The Nicholas Building Association. As you partake in the All That You Hear Is All That Is Heard audio experience, we invite you to visit the retail spaces and galleries that are open to the public but ask that you respect those that are private studios. Grab a coffee or a tea from Cathedral Cafe and wander through the history of one of Melbourne's most loved buildings. Place your phone's face against a wall and see what you can hear on the other side, in the next room.
All That You Hear Is All That Is Heard is funded by the City of Melbourne arts grants and Creative Victoria workers fund. All That You Hear would like to thank the Nicholas Building Association, Missing Persons and Chamber Made’s Little Operations program for generously funding the initial development in 2019.
Watch Excerpts from "Little Operations" development with Chamber Made, August 2019.