‘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

Milk and Honey on the Other Side – Sticky Singing

This is a short exploration into ‘slow singing’ using the song Michael Row the Boat Ashore. A recording of me singing this song at a relatively normal speed has been temporally stretched/smeared using a digital audio editing program and then listened to while making this recording. For some time now a part of my compositional and performance practice has involved imitating (or re-mediating) various forms of digital distortions and art.e.facts, of which slowing down and stretching audio and visual material has been a significant interest. Here, my approach towards using and imitating the stretched recording departs slightly from my previous practices in that the digitally stretched audio acts not as a strict reference that I attempt to reproduce as accurately as possible, but instead acts as a template from which I can situate myself in the sonic/temporal world created by the digital artefact. The result is that I am both aware of and beholden to the recording to some degree, but am also able to exercise a greater amount of performative agency, quasi-improvisationally responding and reacting to the sounds as I listen.

‘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