People Are Currently Humming, Unbroken, For 24 Hours

If you're wandering the streets of Melbourne this weekend and you hear a faint hum in the wind, don't be alarmed. It's for art.

A 24-hour humming event -- you heard us right -- is taking place this weekend as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Participants are being invited to hum from 9pm Saturday through to 9pm Sunday.

The history behind humming, in religion and yoga practices particularly, was influential for the artist behind the event, Ben Landau.

It was also important to Landau to create an event that would be accessible for all audiences to take part in.

"I wanted a participatory environment with something everyone can do," he said.

"People say 'I can't sing' or 'I can't dance', even if you're tone deaf it doesn't matter here. Everyone can hum."

Landau won't be leading the group, instead it will be dictated entirely by who is there at the time.

"The incredible sound, the different textures of different people and ages, to give people a sense of belonging," he said.

"It will be amazing to feel the ripple of the humming through everyone contributing."

The event is part of Critical Mass: Exhibition, a partnership between the Melbourne Fringe Festival and the hosting venue, Brunswick Mechanics Institute.

The idea behind the exhibition is to bring together "urgent groups to discuss an issue", but for Landau, who has named his event Retreat, there is too much to say.

"I was overwhelmed to say so many things, so I will say nothing at all."

But there is also the fear that no one will turn up, especially at four in the morning.

"It's a scary thing, it's a risk and it holds in the balance," he said.

You can join Landau and Retreat at the Brunswick Mechanics Institue between 9am Saturday and 9pm Sunday.

Contact the author at jdunne@networkten.com.au

Featured Image: Ben Landau/ Melbourne Fringe Festival