An Exploration of Prayer

An interactive visio-sonic exploration of sound, image and story

New Media Performance
Aug 20 2006
Christ Church Cathedral
Vancouver BC, Canada

The Space
A summer evening inside a city cathedral in August.
Overhead circular screen of video projection, that responds live to the chanting sounds.
A storyteller/performer, a computer/communication tool & a chanting circle.

The Story
Freedom versus Fear; the path of a seeking heart in a secular world.
A visual poetic narrative with words and movement on a theme of prayer and urban shelter.
A bicycle. A bag. A credit card. A passport.

The Performers
Storyteller, Interactive Sound & Visual Design: Jamie Griffiths
Chant/Music: Jerry Des Voignes & the One Voice Harmonic Choir



As people enter the cathedral, they pass an invisible trigger, causing the sound of individual prayers (drawn from many faiths) to be played back inside the Cathedral. With these prayers the performance has begun, with the entrance of the first audience member. The prayers come from all religions, all walks of life, and diverse languages. Inner thoughts are heard on the outside... they interleave to build  a single massed sound of 'universal' prayer.

The storyteller, begins to weave the narration through cycles of 21 narrated experiences triggered as audio loops in the Cathedral.

A circle of chanters begin to tone causing an overhead projection to respond to their voices and overtones. This is maintained throughout, causing simultaneous shifting of the visuals.

  • the tension between faith and secular comfort zones 
  • the experience of the direct manifestation of prayer... miracle or coincidence? 
  • the miraculous nature of the everyday... fear of letting go... faith in the return. 
  • homelessness on the direct spiritual path 
  • interactive performance technology as symbol of cause & effect & ʻthe lawʼ of prayer. 
  • transformative spiritual experiences at odds with secular cultural systems
Commissioning Arts Organisation
T.E.A.S. The Escape Artists Society, 1009 Semlin Drive, V5L 4J9 Additional support by Simon Fraser University Interactivity Lab, Surrey.