A massed singing of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah
organized by artists Mel Day and Michael Namkung
Originally co-founded by artists Mel Day and Michael Namkung, Wall of Song Project began as a participatory, evolving video installation and live singing event that invited people—no matter their ability to carry a tune—to record themselves singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Hundreds of participants’ faces were layered together into a growing democratic chorus and video installation—such that no one voice or face stood out. In this time of great unknowing and uncertainty, this was a different kind of wall that brought us together.
Launched on Inauguration Day (2017) in Washington, D.C. and at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Wall of Song has been shared widely, recently with over 500 live and virtually present voices at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, with support from multiple organizations, donors and participants. Thank you for supporting Wall of Song!
July 25th, 7:30-9pm
San Francisco, CA
Live Singing together around 7:45.
Video Installation will play until 9pm.
Click here for further details
San Jose Paseo Prototyping Festival, CA
March 5th – 19th
100 Days Action Residency
Southern Exposure Art Gallery
San Francisco, CA
(Wall of Song ephemera and Participatory Booth Events)
CTRL Art Festival
Projects Contemporary Art Space
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
(Indoor installation curated by Fat Village Projects)
January 21st @ 7:00pm
“Directed Actions” Live Film Series, Curated by Robin Bell
Logan Fringe Arts Space
January 20th (11am; 7-10pm)
Inauguration Day Launch
Public video installation/building projection with sound from rooftop
Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Ave. & Potomac Ave. Washington, D.C
About Wall of Song
Wall of Song launched on January 20th, 2017 in Washington D.C. and at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art on Inauguration Day—as an alternative to watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing at the swear-in ceremony. We invite you to raise your voice in a different kind of choir and a different kind of wall—a massed singing of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah online.
there’s a blaze of light in every word
it doesn’t matter which you heard
the holy or the broken Hallelujah
We are concerned about the future. Our values align us against walls which seek to divide us. We wish to mark this moment with something both permeable and powerful—a WALL OF SONG. This wall shuts out not a single voice, but rather invites all voices to be heard, while no individual voice is privileged. What does that sound like?
This project asks questions: Can we create a public space that can hold both our hopes and our fears? Our praises and our lamentations? The holy and the broken? In this deeply divided political climate, and in the presence of real and direct threats to our most vulnerable citizens, what is the role of ambiguity and uncertainty? How do we negotiate the uncertain and unknown together?
Wall of Song invites people of all political stripes, beliefs, orientations, countries of origin, and voices (no matter their ability to carry a tune)—all who want to stand up for the vulnerable among and within us— to lift up their voices together in a holy or a broken hallelujah.
We are seeking to build as large of a Wall of Song as possible. The project is open indefinitely—as long as building a different kind of wall feels appropriate. Sing now by following the simple steps above. Please help us to reach our goal of at least 1000 voices. Please share widely. We need your voice. We need all kinds of voices. Don’t worry if you can’t sing. Don’t worry how you look. Nobody’s voice or face will stand out. Your voice will be lifted by hundreds of other voices, and your face will be layered among hundreds of other faces. Lift your voice for human rights, social justice, civil liberties and for the vulnerable among and within us. Please sing now.
We will share subsequent versions online and in venues that support inclusivity. If you are interested in a live performance video installation or would like to screen our massed singing performance on your website/platform/venue, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please enter your contact information so that we can share occasional updates about performance screenings venues and dates. The act of singing alone together may help to remind us of the paradox and complexity of being human in this digital age. In Cohen’s words, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Thank you again for participating in the Wall of Song!
Artists and organizers,
Mel Day & Michael Namkung