Welcome to our universe where we transform music into experiences. In a BitterSuite experience you feel, smell, taste and move with the music. Coming to our shows is like the first time you ever lost yourself in the music as a child or at a festival. Beautiful Transcendent Communal. It has always been our mission for audiences to listen to music more deeply than they ever have. And we want you to do it alone and together. It is our intention to give audiences new meaningful experiences and reasons to be together, to congregate and experience something which is fundamentally about being alive.
Our work is sensory and all encompassing, and only made possible with our remarkable creative team including artists and experts in the fields of music, art, theatre, movement, poetry, somatic practice, food, perfume, psychology and neurology.
With our unique sensory immersive practice, we change the rules of immersive theatre and invite you to notice your body and senses in relation to the sound around you. And compose original music just for this. BitterSuite have previously been commissioned by and showcased work at venues including the Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, Finnish National Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Arts, Roundhouse Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Wilderness Festival and The Other Art Fair.
In December 2013 a team of dancers, musicians, chefs, perfumers and artists spent one month hidden away in the basement of Rich Mix in Shoreditch. We were armed with a vision and a question:
Can stimuluating the senses of the audience deepen the way we listen to sound?
We had four key inspirations:
- Synaesthesia and crossmodality
- Graphic notation
- Sensory integration
- Immersive theatre
In this time, we spent a month practically exploring the senses, synesthesia, cross-modality – curated by Stephanie Singer – with guest facilitators: Professor David Howes, Dr. Clare Jonas, Lawrence Becko, Perhaps Contraption, Kayo Chingonyi, Odette, Sarah McCartney, Adam Thomason.
In this basement we discovered something profoundly simple that excited us – musical massage. This has been the foundation of our unique creative practice.
Ever since then we have been passionately delving into musical formats – applying our multi-sensory knowledge to unlock radical reimagining of the ways audiences listen to music – through touch and sensory design.
Founded in 2014, the first piece we made was for Debussy’s bewilderingly colorful quartet in G. We designed a hugely ambitious show with 30 performers, who blindfolded each audience member, and led them individually through a highly choreographed experience of taste, smell, touch and movement. Each sensory pairing unlocked a new way of listening.
The piece received international press attention and it catapulted us into five more years of producing ambitious sensory concerts, Sensory Score, Tapestries, Held, and the world’s first festival devoted to sensory practice OPEN SENSES and to tour “Debussy” to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
In 2020 we re-examined and evaluated our work and ways of working. During the pandemic, BitterSuite delivered an ‘exquisite’ experience called HELD which was a sensory experience for the home. HELD combines original orchestral music with guided storytelling to transport you to a cinematic universe within your imagination. We delivered the experience to 500 homes worldwide along with a box with carefully created sensory items – flavours, scents, blindfolds, illustrations.
We also began our journey of research into VIOLET – an activist, electronica musician, and hyper deity for survival. Violet is an avatar, which represents an exciting new way for us to explore and channel our sensory expertise in digital formats. Building Violet for large-scale audiences, and debuting at the Finnish National Opera House in November 2022, we are channeling our signature intimate experiences into a large-scale space.
In 2023 we were commisisoned by the Southbank Centre to bring to life a deep dive into the explosive, life-affirming beautiful-strange feeling of Christine and The Queens. We created BODIES TILTED We led 2000 audiences through this wild and joyful experience and can’t wait for me.
Our inception was grounded in the philosophy and psychology of the senses, synaesthesia, cross modality, sensory perception, somatic practice and sensory integration. As such lead arts programmes from primary to masters level education, and programmes with participants with sensory needs, neurodiversity as well as neurotypical groups. Our programmes and workshop leaders are passionate and able to adapt to the needs of the group and design a specific programme around groups. Providers include Bristol University, MAC, Institute of Education, Heart n Soul, LCC, Brown University, TEDx, UAL, RCC, LCM and more.