One Hello World turns voicemails into songs

The only online Crave festival event, One Hello World composes music to heartfelt, unique and authentic voicemails.

When someone doesn’t answer the phone, many people will leave a voicemail. Now imagine this voicemail as a song, part of a greater project to turn people’s stories into soundtracks.

This is One Hello World, a project that requests voicemails from participants to turn into song. The project has currently recorded 127 tracks and released an album, “The Listener,” in 2012.

Jared Brickman, creator of One Hello World, stumbled on the idea for this project. In summer 2010, Brickman was recording and couldn’t complete the piece. Stuck, he turned to his friends for help, posting a question on Facebook about their definition of happiness.

The response was “overwhelming.”

Curious about this experiment, Brickman decided to make it a larger scheme, reaching out to the public for phone calls.

Word spread rapidly.

“In a matter of weeks I was getting very candid phone calls left by anonymous strangers from all parts of the planet,” Brickman said. “Their stories served as my inspiration to carry on with the project.”

One memorable voicemail was “Movies When You Die.” The message discussed the human desire for meaning in life.

“It was when I was composing to that voicemail I came to fully appreciate the meaning that this project had instilled in my own existence,” Brickman said.

On average it takes anywhere from one to eight hours to transform a message into a musical piece. But more than the music, One Hello World aims to foster compassion through these soundtracks, demonstrating that people share similar emotions.

One Hello World converts many voicemails to song, though not every voicemail reaches this final stage due the high volume of calls. The project looks for messages that are “authentic” with interesting, emotional storylines.

The project finds new subjects and material through SoundCloud and Tumblr. However, when it comes to his personal music, Brickman is a one-man show.

After learning about his project, the Crave Arts Festival approached Brickman about getting involved. Audiences did not see One Hello World at Crave, but the project was featured on the festival's website as an online event.

One Hello World’s future lies in the continuation of stories and music.

“In all, it's about the callers, their stories and the listeners who connect with them,” Brickman said.

If you want to leave a voicemail for this project, call (316) 247-0421. Click here to listen to One Hello World’s 127 tracks, or visit the project's Facebook or Tumblr.

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