Night falls and metropolis mirrors the cosmos. Destinies connected by light and dust send signals, alone, to one another. The city glitters: On Air.
In August 2021, artists Danielle Swindells and Brit Seaton asked the people of Greater Manchester what they dream of. Directed to the automated voicemail system of fictional radio station Dream FM, members of the public picked up the phone and left their answers.
The sound work What do you dream of? brings together selected hotline musings of the vast metropolitan borough. Strange encounters during sleep, visions of change for a better world and personal tales of love and loss are among a constellation of intimate responses to the question, capturing an audio portrait of dreams spanning from simple and symbolic, to poetic and surreal.
What do you dream of? features an original score by Joshua Inyang and Joshua Tarelle, Space Afrika, which takes sonic cues from pre-digital airwaves, the DIY spirit of pirate radio and musical auras of Greater Manchester’s past and present.
Inspired by the fading format of night-time radio talk shows, Dream FM stages a conceptual transmission which draws on the experience of listening together while apart, the unifying liveness of radio, and the comfort it can bring in the lonely hours when the public, as orator and audience, speaks to itself.
Dream FM is tuned in to emotional connections between strangers across Greater Manchester. The sound work platforms local voices in an experimental piece of archived social history, guided by imagination and the collective sharing of innermost thoughts.
What do you dream of? was broadcast online at www.dream-fm.com every night at 9:00PM (GMT) from 18 November to 16 December 2021.
A special premiere event (BSL Interpreted) took place at Manchester Central Library on Thursday 18 November.
This project is made possible with support from Manchester Independents.