Giant Sing Along – vote by July 1


Mouna Andraos + Melissa Mongiat, Giant Sing Along, Minnesota State Fair, 2011. Concept sketch courtesy the artists.

In order to have the best summer song list ever, we need your help! Submit tunes you love, can’t resist, need to share, or bring back memories. It could be a song that gives you that lovin’ feelin’, a dedication to a few of your favorite things, a traditional folk song, your choir’s best song, or something that makes you wanna rock and roll all night.

Vote now here by July 1.

Music Machine, Group Karaoke, DIY Choir, Electric Campfire

There is a new kind of “machine” coming to Machinery Hill at the Minnesota State Fair this August. It’s a “music machine,” and everyone is invited to take your vocal chords for a spin. With your friends. With your family. With your church choir. With total strangers. Step up to the field of microphones and belt out the words on the giant LED screen. Don’t worry, the 36 microphones are specially designed to “auto tune” voices – or add disguising reverb and other effects.

Giant Sing Along by Montreal-based artists Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat is a giant sing along that puts the “together” in The Great Minnesota Get Together. It’s a machine that combines disparate voices to make common song. It’s group singing around the electric LED campfire karaoke style. It’s a make-your-own-choir opportunity. And yes, it’s song at the end of a stick – a field of stick-microphones inviting you to participate. Or watch as long as you can till you can’t resist participating.

Whether at a stadium, around a campfire, on a dance floor, as part of a choir, or as a family holiday tradition, there is something powerful in the act of singing together – beyond beautiful voices, it’s about the collective shared experience. That collective shared experience is the heart and soul of both the Minnesota State Fair and Giant Sing Along.

Giant Sing Along will be located on Murphy Avenue, across from the Pet Center. It’s free and open to all guests each day of the 2011 Minnesota State Fair.

Giant Sing Along

Giant Sing Along field of microphones. Concept sketch courtesy the artists.

A field of 36 microphones offer an open invitation for anyone to reminisce both the historical and popular American music repertoire.

A giant screen features lyrics of recent, old and very old songs, from chorals, country music and any other musical background relevant to Minnesotans through a voting process. Songs that no one can resist.

Beyond the initial reference to karaoke, Giant Sing Along is actually a proper sing along since karaoke is really about one person performing in front of an audience. Here the goal is not to reproduce a song performance, but to live a communal experience. Jay Livingston, Montclair University, explains it well: “In a sing along, our goal, our motivation, is to do something together – in this case, sing the same song – and our pleasure comes from doing it together. Sing along is less about performance, more about group activity, and we wind up sounding like, well, us.”

The system will integrate different sound technologies to stimulate participation. A sound processing system will auto—tune the voices, lightly adjusting the pitch and reverb so that anyone, even the ones less familiar with singing, can sound good, and feel comfortable taking part.

Giant Sing Along will also increase the impact of each participant’s voice: The more people sing, the more voices will come out – 1 person sounding as if 2 people were singing, 2 persons as if they were 4, 3 as 6, up to 36 voice which in turn will sound like almost 100 people are singing together. And if more than one person sings in each microphone, the sing along will truly sound giant!

Andraos and Mongiat

Andraos and Mongiat come from the fields of interaction design and narrative environments, and research new ways to tell stories. Regarding the fair’s Giant Sing Along, Andros and Mongiat write, “Building on the contagious, positive energy of the fair, participants will connect with one another by sharing in a collective and moving musical experience. This uplifting activity is accessible to all and designed with the goal of inspiring guests to do something in unison.” The two design large-­scale projects that impact cities down to tiny ones that fit inside a pocket, bringing art to everyday life and inviting the public to become active contributors. More of their work can be found at

Presented by Bremer Bank

Presented by Bremer Bank, Giant Sing Along is a co-production of the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and Northern

Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, Giant Sing Along