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A surround sound installation with voices of nine Colombian women resonating with each others' migratory journeys.


By Ximena Alarcón-Díaz & Ulf A.S. Holbrook

Arnolfini, Bristol, March 2 - 3, 2024


Festival Internacional de la Imagen, Bogotá-Manizales, Mayo 6 - 12, 2024


SARC, Belfast, September, 2024


Online Public Seminar, October, 2024

Una instalación sonora con voces de nueve mujeres Colombianas escuchando y resonando sus viajes migratorios.

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Unravelling / Desenredando

Immersive listening to Colombian women’s voices


Unravelling / Desenredando is a surround-sound bilingual installation (Spanish and English) featuring the voices of nine Colombian women from varied backgrounds, listening to and resonating with each others’ stories of their migratory journeys to Europe. Improvising in trios, they weave a multilayered sonic memory of intense and intimate listening, while sounding their experiences of how migration and conflict are heard through their bodies: their social spaces of interaction, the memory of conflict in their native land, and the challenges met in the countries where they now live. 


The installation invites audiences to be immersed in these women’s individual experiences and find resonances in the overlaps and synchronicities, as they might also meet across universal narratives between gender, conflict and migration.




Unravelling emerged from the INTIMAL project (Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship 2017 - 2019) awarded to the sound artist-researcher Ximena Alarcón-Díaz and is a collaboration with the Oslo-based composer and spatial audio researcher (specialising in ambisonics and wave field synthesis) Ulf A. S. Holbrook.


The installation was developed thanks to a Sound Artist Residency awarded by the IAN - Immersive Audio Network in Bath, UK in 2023. The Unravelling tour is funded by the Four Nations International Fund through Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland and Wales Arts International, in partnership with Arnolfini - Bristol (England), the Immersive Audio Network - IAN (South West of England), My World, Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries (Bath Spa University), the Festival Internacional de la Imagen - Bogotá and Manizales (Colombia), and SARC: Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Sound and Music, at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, (Northern Ireland).


With special thanks to Anita Ramírez, Bruna Scott, Calu, Dr Liliana Rodríguez, Juliana, La Chiqui, Myriam Ojeda Patiño, Silvia Villalba Martínez, and Violeta Ospina Dguez, for sharing their voices and migratory journeys.

Photo used in the poster by Sharon Stewart. Deep Listening Intensive. Project INTIMAL 2017-2019. Grån, Norway.




Ximena Alarcón-Díaz is a sound and listening artist-researcher exploring alternative forms of sensing place and telepresence to listen to and sound collectively our sonic migrations: the resonances left in between the borders we cross when we tune in and meet others across distant locations. She has a PhD in Music, Technology and Innovation, and studied Deep Listening creative practice under the tutelage of Pauline Oliveros. Throughout her career, she has created telematic sonic improvisations and interfaces for relational listening to understand sensorially migratory experiences. She works independently developing INTIMAL an embodied telematic listening environment to experience “migratory journeys”.  She is interested in voice and immersive audio, as the possibilities of expanding vocal presence for the emergence of aural territories of memory and emotion.


Ulf A. S. Holbrook is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher working with sound in a variety of media, including composition, improvisation, installation, programming, text, and research; with a specific interest of the representation of place and space through spatial audio, recording technologies, speaker design, geo-spatial methods, sonification, and software. He studied sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art, music technology at the University of Limerick, and holds a PhD in music technology from the University of Oslo. He currently works as an acoustic consultant and is involved with a series of artistic and research projects internationally.

The Unravelling tour 2024 is funded by the Four Nations International Fund through Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland and Wales Arts International.



"The sound artist-researcher Ximena Alarcon (PhD, MA, BA) and the composer and spatial audio researcher Ulf A. S. Holbrook wove an hour’s long tapestry from the (audio) encounters of the nine women, from their relationships, creating a space that feels at once welcoming, captivating, and strange. Whether you understand the words or only the emotions, you are invited to pause and move around, listening to both the words and the breathing pauses, and simultaneously try to listen to your own breathing. Stay as long as you wish, enjoy your visit – and maybe leave with a new faint thread tying you to a community of sisterhood across borders."

*Routed’s Editor-in-Chief, Routed Magazine Margaret Koudelkova

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