madeleine flynn and tim humphrey

Music for Imagined Dances by Madeline Flynn and Tim HumphreyMID3 Crop Smallmusic for imagined dances

music for imagined dances ( an archival collection of the work)

Creators: Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey in collaboration with:
Lighting Designer: Niklas Pijanti
Technical Integration: Jesse Stevens and Dean Petersen
Visual Identity: Letterbox

” dizzying: an experience that eludes words while asking questions of a different order.” John Bailey, The Sunday Age. March 2011

A dance piece created through the act of listening.

A sound exhibition for possible dance.

An infinite encounter in a small room.

Music for Imagined Dances creates a space for expansive listening. From a vast archive of historic and contemporary compositions, each interaction spontaneously generates a unique music compilation triggering the inner choreographer in each participant.

Each compilation creates a unique and personal musical score and prompts the possibilities of dance within everyone.

Music for Imagined Dances incorporates a collection of several hundred recorded pieces of music: beginning in the 1920′s with the first recording of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, through to now: entwining works that have been specifically created for contemporary dance and works that have not: works that are iconic in the artmusic-dance repertoire and works that have been heard only by the composer who made them. Each half hour listening event is a set of randomly selected works from the collection, played one after the other, in a room lit for listening. The room is lit by award winning lighting designer Nik Pajanti with a design by Letterbox, incorporating the principles of the random dots that make up acoustic paneling, and a custom lighting control system designed by Jesse Stevens. The music set is played on the half hour, and the playlist as such isn’t known until the listener leaves the room.

All works are documented as an online listing as the installation continues. Our process of collection is through open invitation, research, archival recordings held at contemporary dance companies, hunting obscure recordings with Owen McKern at 3MBS and asking composers who contribute their work for three other names of composers whose work they admire.

We are interested in what it is that makes music and dance speak to each other in contemporary practice: recorded sound as artefact of liveness: and the liveness of listening in a room, imagining a dance that may or may not have been: that could still be. We think there will audience members who wish to dance, and those who wish to listen and the space is designed so both these things can happen. A camera in the room has a visual feed to the hallway, relaying abstracted traces of the live movements happening within.

We featured works that are anywhere from 1 min to 20 minutes in length. All works were made available with details of composers, composer notes, year of composition from the opening of the event on March 16 2011 at and this site remains as an archive of the event with timestamps of which day and time they were played. To find the name and composers of the piece/s you heard, look online at the site ( at the end of each day, where the randomly generated playlist is posted.

(Music on video: Ros Bandt “Starzones”)