Voices of the Rainforest by Steven Feld, followed by an online in-conversation with Jol Thoms

a graphic with text reading "all the birds sing bass"
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Join us for the listening and screening of Voices of the Rainforest: A Day in the Life of Bosavi by Steven Feld. The event will be followed by an online in conversation with Jol Thoms.

Directed and produced by acclaimed ethnomusicologist and anthropologist Steven Feld, Voices of the Rainforest is a multisensorial, experiential soundscape and documentary about the ecological and aesthetic coevolution of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest region and its inhabitants.

The film immerses viewers in the rainforest, making myriad connections between the everyday sounds of the rainforest biosphere and the creative practices of the Bosavi people who sing to, with, and about it.

Voices of the Rainforest was produced by Steven Feld and Dennis Leonard and directed by Steven Feld and Jeremiah Ra Richards in collaboration with the Bona community of Bosavi, Papua New Guinea. Feld conducted anthropological and ethnomusicological fieldwork in Bosavi from 1975 to 2000. The original Voices of the Rainforest CD was produced during this time (1991) with production support from Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. Working with acclaimed sound editor Dennis Leonard at Skywalker Sound in 2016-2017, Feld recomposed a 25th anniversary 7.1 Voices soundtrack. A 2018 return to Bosavi with filmmaker Jeremiah Ra Richards and digitisation of Feld's extensive archival photographs led to the creation of the immersive film joined to the 7.1 soundtrack.

As part of All the Birds Sing Bass, we will first listen to the Voices of the Rainforest CD (1991) and then watch the film, which will be available throughout the day at our Space. The day will end with an online in-conversation between Steven Feld and Jol Thoms.


12-1pm: Listening session of Voices of the Rainforest

1-5pm: The screening of Voices of the Rainforest

5-6pm: Online In-conversation between Steven Feld and Jol Thoms

About the event

Free. Limited Capacity.

Booking is required.

The duration of events is listed in the programme. Seating is available.


Find information about getting here and our building access and facilities here.

Speakers will use microphones.

This event is wheelchair accessible.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing info@nottinghamcontemporary.org or phoning 0115 948 9750.

Safety during your visit

Please do not attend this event if you/someone in your household is currently COVID-19 positive, has suspected symptoms or is awaiting test results.

Staff and visitors are welcome to wear a face mask in all areas.

Steven Feld is an anthropologist, filmmaker, musician, and sound artist, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. Recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994, and in 2003 received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His research has also been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowments for the Humanities and for the Arts, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and other foundations.

Jol Thoms (b. Toronto) is an artist and researcher based in London, UK. His audio-visual compositions, lecture-performances, and educational experimentations emerge from site-based fieldwork in remote ‘landscape-laboratories’ situated at the forefront of experimental physics and environmental stewardship where planetary bodies become vast posthuman sensing arrays. His critical practice addresses our troubled relationships with nature, technology, and the cosmos by signalling beyond the purely measurable and quantifiable, and by thinking, feeling, and sensing with more-than-human worlds.

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