Alt Human
Ekko Festival  //  Bergen, Norway  October 2021

8 channel composition
20’ - 40’

Commissioned for Ekko Festival 2021
Østre performance space, Bergen
Curator: Lasse Marhaug

An octophonic work exploring breath and the human voice, deconstructed and organised in multimodes, seeking out unventured terroir and sans language, to sound out the unheard, the suppressed, the invisible, the undeveloped, the inner and the other. Eight speakers become embodiments of the alt human. 

This thought of a better, more improved model human became an antidote for being physically alone, in order to cope with and to navigate the changed world of encountering human interaction through zoom or phone conversation only.  I came to rely a lot on the voices of people as a gauge for humanity as a way to measure how well I was actually connecting, by solely listening to vocal articulation.  The human voice can be strong but also vulnerable, incredibly multi-faceted, and a carrier of so much nuance. I started to observe more closely the infinite minute details of voices, and this led to the idea of redesigning a new sonic experience of human "anima", our vital force. Alchemy dabbling.  

In making this work, I collected "offcuts" of voice and voiced sounds that were part of communication as a whole but not intentionally made for the explicit expression of language. I pieced together thousands of seconds of vocalisations, guttural sounds and an array of breath manifestations, in order to create new articulations, all of which created a rather strange but captivating world of reimagined voices. What’s fascinating, to me at least, is, if by using throw-away bits of voices to reconstruct melodic/rhythmic gestures, would one still be able to feel and respond instinctively to the essence of a person/persons, in order to regain a sense of intimacy and connection?

Spatial audio design by Serafin Aebli.
Visit Ekko Festival site here.

Also played at Spatial Audio Week
Centre for Music & Technology, Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki, Finland
December 2021
Curator: Prof Jan Schacher