Jon McGregor’s ‘Reservoir 13′ – Audience Audio Project

Posted on May 10, 2017 in News

We are helping 4th Estate author Jon McGregor to create a new way of taking a book on tour, utilising his audience’s smart phones to create a soundtrack to each performance.

“At midnight when the year turned…”
- Reservoir 13, Chapter 1.


This year, award-winning author Jon McGregor releases his fourth novel, Reservoir 13. He’ll be doing a tour of readings in book shops and at festivals. Jon wanted to create a new live reading experience beyond the traditional Author And A Microphone setup.

We’re working on a musical accompaniment that Jon can carry in his pocket, since he’s touring by bike and train. So he’s got to able to control it from his phone.

Also, he can’t guarantee what kind of audio equipment will be at each tour date, since the venues range from small intimate bookshops to festival stages. What we do know, though, is that there will be lots of phones with loudspeakers in the audience.

As fans of Jon’s work, we’re thrilled to be involved. Especially since we’re creating something that uses technology to combine art forms, that people can connect with in new ways.

The Spec:

Audiences will be encouraged to keep their mobile phones switched on with the volume up, and visit a web page made for the performance.

Audio is activated on each phone by Jon, from his phone.

Each phone will play a different instrument from each piece of music (composed by Richard J. Birkin and featuring Haiku Salut), creating the full soundtrack via communal connectivity.

Tour Dates:

Sat May 27th – Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich

Sun June 11th – Quad, Derby Book Festival (live performance with Richard J. Birkin & Haiku Salut)

Weds June 21st – Lowdham Village Hall, Lowdham Book Festival

Thurs July 20th – Bantry, West Cork Literature Festival

Sun Aug 27th – Edinburgh Book Festival (live performance with Richard J. Birkin & Haiku Salut TBC)

Sat Oct 7th – Manchester Literature Festival

Sat Oct 21st – Vancouver Literary Festival

Mon Oct 23rd – Ben McNally Books, Toronto