HELD (with Journey Box)

“You arrive in a landscape that is constantly growing and unfolding. Where solids are liquid. Where touch and sound intertwine. Where everything dances together in a cacophony of life…” 

Immerse yourself in BitterSuite’s new audio experience designed to connect you with music like never before. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and embark on an unforgettable adventure in your own home. 

HELD combines original orchestral music with guided storytelling to transport you to a cinematic universe within your imagination. Be the leading character in this intimate tale and discover where the music takes you today. Listen to a unique recording that uses the latest ambisonic techniques to provide an all-encompassing audio experience. Feel music throughout your body.

Each element is carefully crafted by experts in sensory performance to lead you on a journey of wonder that will awaken your senses and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

When the pandemic hit, we were in the middle of developing a show about community in response to increasing rates of loneliness in the UK. And, to put us into context, we create multisensory experiences that are live – that touch you and envelop you in sensations – and that was no longer possible. How could we adapt our work to reach a socially-distanced world? How could we find a way to touch our audiences even when we couldn’t be near you? Out of this challenge, HELD was born.

The process of composing this audio experience was always holding you in mind, in your homes, and wanting to create a new space for you: a space where your imagination is the main character; a space full of wonder and adventure; where you can lift off and go on a journey. Perhaps, by being in your own homes, not a theatre, there is an inherent intimacy that may allow you to relax into the experience a little more deeply.

Thank you for joining us,

Anna, Ashraf, Eileih & Steph

HELD is a feat of collaboration which was created in 20 different homes across the UK, entirely over zoom calls and recording remotely in home studios. HELD was created between May – September 2020. 

Creative Team
Director, Stephanie Singer
Lead writer, Ashraf Ejjbair Devisors
Anna Pearce
Eileih Muir

Lead composer, Stephanie Singer
Composers, Alice Phelps, Johnny Chung
Strings, Phaedra Ensemble
Arranger Phillip Grannel & Jamie Hamilton
Voice, Ashraf Ejjbair

Music Production
Chris Timpson

Youth Testers
Ajay, Erin, Joseph, Leo,  Luca, Polly, Sapphi and Willow

Maria Medem

Creative Producer, Eleni Kyraciou, Marah Stafford
Executive Producer, Lucy Atkinson

Microsite Developer
Nick Hart

Booklet Design
Smart Banda

Freyja Sewell

Adam Thomason

Sarah McCartney

We met once every three weeks from the beginning of lockdown over Zoom. Together we devised and created lots of different materials that inspired and led to the creation of the HELD experience.

We spent time listening to music, we made pictures, videos, dens and other things inspired by it. Below are our self-portraits to show you a little bit about us.

Our facilitators Linzy Na Nakorn and Alice Phelps ran a participation programme with residents of Mild May care home and local young people. In addition created a multi-sensory workshop programme for Sense UK and ran a session with members from Headway.

The focus was ‘What does it mean to be held in the era of isolation?’

Email info@bittersuite.org to take part in a HELD workshop.

The box was made by Freyja Sewell, designed in collaboration with our youth testers to create a unique series of items each one to be used to enhance a moment of the music. In each box we would pack enough experiences for the number of audience members experiencing.

The personal sensory experience contained

  • 1 original holster
  • two tastes: galaxy pop and tube of stardust
  • 3. A velvety, weighted blindfold
  • An original scent designed by 4160 Tuesdays
  • A pot of original hot chocolate
  • An illustration designed by Maria Medem