Cellphonia: San Jose

Scot Gresham-Lancaster <---> Steve Bull

with Tim Perkis


People like you sing into the cellphone responding to the song lyrics provided by a robot voice prompt.

Add your voice now! Dial 408-228-5848 or 408-CAT JUG 8

Sing the five songs in Cellphonia: Local News,
Hi-Technology, Sports, Religion and Classified Advertising.
The song lyrics are taken from today's RSS
newsfeed provided by the San Jose Mercury News.

Get Playlist

New York State Council for the Arts and Harvestworks provided first support of this project
Experimental Television Center provided finishing funds for this performance

See an Introductory Video of the Project

Technical Advice - If you make a call to the server after listening to this page and you want to hear your addition to the scene right away, you may need to reload the page and bypass the local cache to flush out the old version of the opera that loaded when you first opened this page. This article from the Wikipedia gives tips for how to do this on the various browsers you are probably using to view this webpage.
Questions? write scot [at] o-art.org

Special thanks to Kalin Mintchev for all his great work and support


as reviewed in theNY Times
Published: August 6, 2006

Some projects take audience participation one step further, allowing people to add voice, text or images to an artwork in progress. By dialing up another project, Cellphonia, a caller (presumably but not necessarily from the area) can join the chorus of a current-affairs opera. The libretto for that day, based on news feeds from The San Jose Mercury News, is voiced one line at a time; all the caller has to do is echo it back into the phone. The performance is recorded and automatically mixed with other voices. Later a caller can download an MP3 file of the song for playback on his own phone.

“So often people with cellphones to their ears are in their own world, cut off from reality,” said Steve Bull, a New York artist-programmer who developed the opera with California composers Scot Gresham-Lancaster and Tim Perkis. “This will pull people back into the community, as they sing the community story and hear their voice in the community chorus.”