Join a huge global soundscape for the UK Pavilion at World Expo Dubai

The team behind the UK Pavilion at World Expo Dubai is inviting anyone in the world to contribute to a crowd-sourced musical piece that showcases the sounds of humanity for use as part of the huge world-class installation of the Pavilion.

From singing or playing an instrument, to tapping out simple rhythms, humming or clicking fingers, musical contributions recorded on microphones or mobile phones, in bedrooms, garages or gardens are welcomed from every corner of the globe from people of all ages and abilities. They will be woven together into a seven-minute long, multichannel tapestry of sound, composed by British sound designers Polyphonia.

To become part of the soundscape, you are invited to record yourself singing or playing one of eight different, pre-composed parts. The melodies have been designed to be either sung or played on any instrument, while one of the rhythm parts is intended to be easy enough for musical beginners or young children. Audio can be recorded on a mobile phone and uploaded via a simple online form. More details on what is needed and the parts to be sung and played are here.

The soundscape was conceived as part of the design for the UK Pavilion visitor experience by Avantgarde, along with lead designer and artist Es Devlin OBE, who has worked with the likes of Beyonce, U2 and Adele. The composition will be heard by millions of visitors to the UK Pavilion at the next World Expo in Dubai, a six-month long celebration of humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation, opening October 2021.

Celebrating international collaboration and connectivity, the composition will tell a story that spans the breadth of human history and invention, from ancient choral traditions to global satellite communications. Seeking voices from Brighton to Bangkok and instruments from bagpipes to sitars, it reflects the diverse melting-pot of global influences and musical genres that have made the UK world-renowned for its creativity.

Es Devlin OBE, Artist and Designer of the UK Pavilion, said: "Expo 2020 Dubai will be visited by many millions from all over the planet. The UK Pavilion has been conceived as a meeting point - a place of collective thinking and action. At its heart is the Choral Space - illuminated by glowing words donated by visitors. We are working with voices from all over the world to create the choral soundscape which will envelop visitors at the heart of the pavilion - and we would love to include your contribution. We want to express a full, beautiful range and breadth and diversity of voices, every age, gender, ethnicity. Please add your voice or instrumental to the soundscape of the UK Pavilion at the World Expo.”

Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner for Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "Making and sharing music with others, whether it be through singing, percussion or any form of musical instrument, is a powerful way to connect us and experience our universal humanity, something that has become more important than ever this year. Expo 2020 Dubai is a key moment for all of us to reconnect as a global community. In 2021 we will be coming together through Expo to explore new ideas and create the future. The UK Pavilion’s soundscape provides a perfect opportunity to begin the journey, as we join together in a positive, uplifting and creative way."

Now opening 1 October 2021, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, will see over 190 countries come together to create a better future following the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK’s participation theme is ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’, with a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning and space.

This theme will be reflected in the UK Pavilion through exhibitions, events and the architecture of the building itself, including the choral space where the soundscape will be featured as part of an immersive audio experience with over 16 different channels of sound.

Back to stories

About the Author