Out Of Our Heads (OOOH!) – A mini-festival of personalized listening

Venue: Hong Kong Arts Centre 
Date: 2020.05.30 - 2020.06.06
Time: 19:30 – 20:30; 21:00 – 22:00 
Price: HK$50 

From the social movement that started last summer to the pandemic that’s still very much a developing situation, the city finds itself challenged like never before. Routines and ways of life we once took for granted are now prohibited. Lives, as well as values, are at stake. The worst pandemic of a generation has given birth to a range of novel social rituals: the coming together of the hands for sanitisation at entrances, the masks that are worn like talismans, the hesitant elbow bump. What used to be a ritualised exchange of pleasantries (“I hope you are doing OK”) have taken on a new weight. Even when pleasantries are just that – casual, routine, ritualised remarks – they are still important in that, like prayers, or talismans, they point to a better world that could have been under better circumstances. Each time we say ‘thank you,’ or light a candle at a vigil, or cast a vote at the ballot box, we are renewing our commitment to these better worlds, and reminding ourselves that we fall short of the best versions of ourselves.

Music is related to ritual in at least two important ways: musical form resembles the structure of ritualised actions, and music is integral to many rituals. Music’s meaning, like that of a ritual, is also social in the sense that it is never created by the performer alone. In response to these very difficult times, we want to double down on our commitment to the ritual of musical performance, to the gathering of people, to assembly. The Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) and Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong (CMHK) have assembled a programme of excellent local composers and sound artists, who have taken on the challenge of responding to the new reality of social distancing. In fact, this mini-festival seeks to appropriate this new reality, and turn it into an opportunity to create intensely intimate exchanges at close proximity. In these performances, each performer will be performing to only one audience member. This means that the festival will be experienced only by a very small number of audiences, which, under ‘normal’ circumstances as dictated by economic rationalism, would be seen as a lack. Audiences will be shuttling between performance stations that are situated at various locations within the Hong Kong Arts Centre. All works are to be experienced via headphones, in real time, and together with the artist who created it. Artists including Alain Chiu, Alex Yiu, Cheuk Wing Nam, Edwin Lo, Fiona Lee, Larry Shuen, Lee Cheng, Michael Chi-hin Leung, and Vvzela Kook have all created brand new work for this setting. These personalised listening experiences will hopefully renew our commitment to the ritualised and social aspects of musical performance, to its openness of meanings, to its necessity always but especially in times like these, and to music’s ideal form: a civility of shared listening that comes to us through another person’s ear canal, which, is possibly to only way out of our own heads.

Artists: Alain Chiu, Alex Yiu, Cheuk Wing Nam, Chi-hin Leung, Edwin Lo, Fiona Lee, Larry Shuen, Lee Cheng, Vvzela Kook
Concert 1: Social contracts
30/5 (Sat) 7:30pm, 9pm

The first programme of all brand-new works focuses on notions of distance and proximity. From literal chains to virtual synchronicity, from a whispered conversation, to the poetic intimacy of shared lost time, to the clinical distance of a scientific experiment, the artists and their works call into question our assumption of what might be considered ‘too close for comfort.’

Featured Artist

Programme (All world premieres)

Alex Yiu

I have done it again

Edwin Lo

Time Regained (Music for the Lost Time)

Larry Shuen

Conversation Errors

Chi-hin Leung


Vvzela Kook

Baseline Test


Concert 2: Go beyond go completely beyond
6/6 (
Sat) 7:30pm, 9pm
This programme explores the idea of travel and motion in times of movement restriction. Forward motion, repetition in-loop, entry and exit, emergence and disappearance – the artists in this con- cert and their works remind us that journeys – actual or fictitious, directed or aimless – are all potentially transformative.

Featured Artist

Programme (All world premieres)

Alain Chiu

Ficticious Entry

Cheuk Wing Nam

Conora Can’t Stop Me

Fiona Lee

in a loop, how far we could go beyond

Lee Cheng

Where have all the ____ gone?


Admission Fee: HK$50
(You will be asked to pay when you receive our email that your reservation has been confirmed.)

We will email you within one working day to acknowledge your reservation, and send you information on how to process payment.


To prevent Novel Coronavirus, the following measures will be implemented:
- All participates must wear face masks
- Our staff have the right to deny the admission of any person with temperature higher than 37.5°C or without wearing face masks


Due to the pandemic we will be taking special measures at check in. Please read the below carefully before you come.
1/ You will be assigned a check-in time before you come to the concert.
2/ Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your allocated time than to avoid holding up the performance. Please bring your own headphone / headset.
3/ The check in counter will be set up on the G/F Lobby of Hong Kong Arts Centre.
4/ Festival staff will measure your body temperature and provide hand-sanitiser.
5/ You will be guided by a festival helper throughout your whole journey. There will be at most 3 people present at any station.
6/ All headphones and furniture will be sanitized after each performance.


Co-Presenters: Hong Kong Arts Centre, Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong 

What's On
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