‘A Hollow Body’ is described as a cinematic experience for two people, and a soundtrack for the city.
You both download the app, and then start at a designated point near St Paul’s Cathedral, and separately follow instructions to become main characters in the unfolding cinematic soundscape, being brought together and guided apart during the process.
Luckily it’s been extended, so it’s still available, after being originally set to finish on 12th April.
I’m a huge fan of the way simple voiced instructions through headphones allow your mind to focus, see and examine your surroundings in a new light, and this is especially true of the way ‘A Hollow Body’ encouraged me to experience the streets of London.
That secret whispering voice gives you a special, conspiratorial experience, between yourself, the voice and the other person.
I really enjoyed being guided around the city. The real strength in this podcast is it’s use of the city. It separates the two of you, walking different paths, at street level and above, giving you glimpses of the other walking, really making use of the geography of the area. It encourages you to see and look for parts of the city that you’d easily miss otherwise, and see the other person as a performer, a person in the street, to be watched and seen, in a way that you may not have seen before.
There are also glimpses of narratives, of other characters in the city, and what they’re doing in the rooms above and around you.
If I had any wishes about the experience, I would hope for a little more narrative, and a little more use of the opportunity to really focus your attention on the details of a London street that would go unnoticed.
That said, those conspiratorial voices, asking you to walk the streets and look anew, and watch another person do the same, following a story, and looking at rooms and windows, thinking what could be going on inside, give a really powerful experience. I recommend it.