Live Performance of ‘No sweeter sound than my own name’

Live performance as part of the WEISSLICH concert series at Hundred Years Gallery
Filming credit: Tom Hartford

It has been a long time since I’ve written an update on the collaborative project Beavan Flanagan and I set out on about five months ago. Since the last update No sweeter sound than my own name has undergone several changes. The score has been finished, we’ve repurposed a storage stool into a speaker cabinet, experimented with a makeshift bone-conduction swimming cap, and performed the piece across England. Performances have taken place in Coventry, Birmingham, London, and last night in Huddersfield at the inaugural HCMOFF – an unaffiliated fringe event to the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF//). Continue reading

‘No sweeter sound than my own name’ – Reflections and Commentary on Reading Audio-Score Drafts

I have been working with Beavan Flanagan to develop a new vocal piece for me titled, no sweeter sound than my own name. Beavan and I are exploring the use of an audio score and along the way I have been writing a few reflections on the experience of ‘reading’ the score. A couple of weeks ago Beavan Flanagan and I met up again to try out an updated audio-score. What follows are my reflections on practicing the original audio-score and reading the updated audio-score. My reflections are accompanied by commentary from Beavan and a video excerpt of the run-throughs we did during our workshops. Continue reading

‘No sweeter sound than my own name’ – Audio-Scores and Breathing

Beavan Flanagan and I recently caught up again to continue exploring and developing his new vocal piece, no sound sweeter than my own name. After our first meeting Beavan constructed a basic, algorithmically generated breathing score. The breathing score is an audio score that provides instructions to the performer for when to breath in and out.

From the mouth of Beavan:

I’ve recently been dealing with issues surrounding notation or perhaps more generally speaking, communication of information. Not wanting Michael to be visually – I’m going to say distracted, but I’m not sure if that’s the right word –  I’m trying to find ways to communicate information or instruction in a purely auditory fashion. This has led me to develop an exercise in controlling Michael’s breathing patterns. Continue reading

‘No sweeter sound than my own name’ – First Workshop

I recently met with Beavan Flanagan to begin exploring and recording sounds for a new vocal piece being composed for me titled no sweeter sound than my own name. During our meeting we experimented with recording the interior sounds of my throat with a piezoelectric contact microphone. We began by catagorizing a few different types of sounds based on the physical mechanisms involved in production. These categories included breath sounds, glottally restricted sounds, and hummed sounds. These sounds were chosen because they are all possible to produce with my mouth closed and, with practice, no external facial movement (resulting in an ambiguous identification of my self as a subjective/objective being).

After spending some time recording those sounds, we decided to do a short improvisation that would act as a catch-all, possibly uncovering other sounds we may have missed by focusing exclusively on physical categories of production. The following video is taken from the short improvisation portion of our workshop.

more information on this project can be found @ the project’s hub