New sound project explores experiences of COVID isolation

Paul Bibby

Spending time with family, missing friends, and ‘staying home with my new unicorn’ are some of the experiences of COVID isolation that school students have shared with sound artist and composer Brett Canning for Lismore Regional Gallery’s Together//Alone project.

Sound artist Brett Canning in his studio. Image supplied.

Canning asked 15 students based in Northern NSW, ranging from kindergarten to Year 12, to make audio recordings responding to questions about how they are feeling, how they are connecting with family and the outside world, what community looks like for them at the moment and what they are looking forward to doing once restrictions ease.

He combined their responses with sounds recorded in the Northern Rivers natural environment to create an insightful audio work called Sound Connections.

Listen to the work here at

‘I wanted to give a voice to school students and encourage meaningful connection in this time of social distancing. I hope the students listening to the finished work can know that they are not alone in the way that they may feel at the moment,’ Canning said.

Canning runs a philanthropic record label, Germinate Records, at the Lindisfarne Recording Studio on the Tweed Coast.

He is also an accomplished musician in his own right, working with artists such as Missy Higgins, The Audreys and Ian Moss, and was nominated for an APRA for his songwriting work with The Waifs.

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