World According to Sound: Outside-In

The World According to Sound presents an hour-long escape from the pandemic in this communal, surround sound listening event.

Saturday May 23, 2020
8:30pm PST

Co-Presented by: The World According to Sound & KQED
Last chance to get tickets: May 14

It’s time to get out. Together. For one hour, The World According to Sound is going to transport you to a world before the pandemic in an international communal listening event.

You’ll have dinner in a busy restaurant and go to a hockey game; visit a zoo, sand dunes in Oman, and a jungle in Costa Rica; sit in on a university lecture, sing in a large gospel choir, and listen to birds chirp, giraffes moan, and bees buzz. It’s an hour of surround sound, all delivered to your headphones while you shelter in place.

There are two showings on May 23rd, one at 5:30pm Pacific Time and the second at 8:30pm Pacific Time.

The San Francisco Arts Space, Gray Area, will host the online communal listening event on Patch, their new online initiative. Sign up for the show and you’ll be mailed an eye mask and miniature poster with instructions on how to join the show. Afterwards, creators Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett will join attendees for a live discussion about the show.

Tickets must be ordered by May 14th to receive a personal eye mask and miniature poster.


The World According to Sound

Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett are co-creators of The World According to Sound, a radio show that airs on NPR’s All Things Considered and weekly on individual public radio stations. The Washington Post writes that “each episode is 90 seconds, containing a neat little story about an evocative, unusual sound rendered in intense aural detail.” The show’s sound-driven approach to radio has been featured on programs like NHPR’s “Overheard,” KQED’s “Earful,” KALW’s “The Spot,” CBC’s “Podcast Playlist,” and a segment on “HowSound” called “Short is Beautiful.” The World According to Sound is more than just a radio show, however. Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett have turned it into a live performance where they set up a ring of speakers, pass out eye masks, turn out the lights, and take the sounds from their show and move them all around the audience. You will hear bridges and ants and the gurgle of mud pots. The sounds will transport you inside another person’s head and back in time a hundred years to the streets of Berlin. There will be a musical performance by a washing machine, a sonorous tennis match, and a disturbing howl Marco Polo heard centuries ago while crossing the Gobi Desert. The pair has performed at art galleries, theaters, and centers for the blind in San Francisco and throughout the Northeast.


KQED is for everyone who wants to be more. Our television, radio, digital media and educational services change lives for the better and help individuals and communities achieve their full potential. KQED serves the people of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial media. They provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring the arts to everyone; and engage audiences to share their stories. KQED helps students and teachers thrive in 21st century classrooms, and take people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. They celebrate diversity, embrace innovation, value lifelong learning and partner with those who share their passion for public service.

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