Aberdeen lecturer seeks people to hum a tune

Invitation to take part in a study into music and childhood memories

classical music news

A lecturer at the University of Aberdeen is asking 500 people in the city to hum a tune which brings back a childhood memory.


The project, ‘Aberdeen Humming’, is being run by Dr Suk-Jun Kim, a lecturer in electroacoustic music and sound art.

He said: ‘The project is designed to examine the relations between people and places, and how a person’s memory plays a role in this. Offering hums to others means that you are inviting others to enter your personal space.’

A large number of the 500 hums have already been collected via a ‘humming booth’ which was set up in Aberdeen over the summer. Dr Kim is now collecting the final hums with the help of music students from the university.

The collected tunes will be part of an exhibition in Aberdeen’s ‘Seventeen’ arts hub.

Dr Kim said: ‘The composition, which will be played through eight speakers at a low volume, will not be manipulated, apart from the fade-ins and outs and some minor amplitude changes. It would be great to have as many people’s hums included in the composition as possible.’

A statement on the project’s website said: ‘Usually, we try to understand a place and its people through various scientific and sociological tools. But being a composer and sound artist, Kim feels that it is the sounds the place and its people make that tell us what the place is and who these people are – and more importantly, how they have become what they are now.’


Dr Kim has previously run humming projects in Berlin and New Mexico. For more information, visit the project’s website.