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workspace for experimental music and sound art
27/07/2020 - 23/08/2020

The human voice is a complex sound synthesis device.

When considered from a singing perspective, the human voice is curiously both a highly technical object and the living embodiment of one’s spirit and soul. For any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic* !

The soundtrack “La jeune fille en feu”, from Jean-Baptiste de Laubier and Arthur Simonini, starts with an unusual rise of pitch, as if the voices of the women singing would endlessly reach higher and higher notes. Yet the main pitch seems to not grow much As if it was possible to go up and down at once.

This particular sound is the famous Shepard-Risset’s glissando. A paradoxical sound, computer synthesised and able to trick the listeners’ ears, making them believe in an indefinite rising only conceivable in spiritual means.

This soundtrack not only underlines that it is possible to translate the constitutive parameters of a computer originating sound into a partition for human voices, but that one can assist to subtile, sensible exchanges in between humans and their technical devices, beyond notions of use and production.

These sensible slidings in between synthesised sound and human voice are at the centre of my research for they enable me to question and discover the voice as both an alienated and alienating object. The undeniable witness of the embodiment of technology by human beings and the projections of their beliefs and dreams into the devices they built.

During my residency at QO-2, I intend to set up a periodic laboratory of vocal practice, in which I’d like to share as much as try out, different vocal, body and group sounding exercises. The purpose of this lab would be to start developing a repertoire and some sounding studies for the creation of an experimental choir. A choir to experience the voice as a complex sound synthesis device and thereby question one’s own relation with technology, social identity and spiritual affects.

In case, such laboratory is unable to take place due to the current pandemic situation, I intend to pursue this research by using my own and single voice, extended by recorders and loop devices in order to develop the bases of the repertoire and generate compositional insights for future group session to be hold on better days.

* Arthur C. Clarke

Sebastian Dingens - WALKS
Pavel Tchikov 29/11/23
Nika Son - Scatter

Q-O2 is supported by the Flemish Community, VGC and Creative Europe
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34
B-1080 Brussels