ESP Research Seminar – 2/12/15
Extra Sonic Practices is an informal network of practitioners and researchers interested in sound and the seminar centred around each of them presenting their work and how sound is used within this. ESP is made up of Marie Thompson, Emily Wilczek, David McSherry, Dylan Roys, Annie Morrad and Stewart Collinson. Interesting concepts that came out of this included sound as object and the relationship between heard and felt.
Stewart Collinson discussed how he is interested in the in-between of image and sound, what is in-between the two is the most important aspect. When image and sound are combined, something new is created in a 1+1=3 calculation. This third thing, the tertium quid, is the coming into being of something else through dynamic interactions where the agents themselves are not important, only the in-between is. The ‘waves’ not the ‘particles’. This notion of the third thing and the coming together of two parts creating a new object relates back to my current thinking regarding the creation of objects. The human is combined with digital technology to create something new, a new object. Here the original human and the new object are unimportant, the in-between interactions where the connections occur, the translations happen and the changes materialise hold everything meaningful.
The concept of vocal fry was discussed by Marie Thompson, which are feminine/feminised noises defined as the low vibratory sound at the end of sentences in the form of a creak or a growl. This is particularly interesting as recently this has sparked debate on vocal fry being used to marginalise women and on the other hand, something that women need to get rid of in order to reclaim our strong voices. The fry register has an affectation that when used in an experimental context, such as experimental vocal music, can create a tapestry of sounds. An example of this that Marie showed was that of ‘Cathing Joan la Barbara':
Along these lines we can begin to see vocal fry as object, the isolation of these sounds from speech takes them out of their original context and opens up a new space for them to exist. Translation to an object through isolation. This highlights the materiality of sound, how sound can be a material and manipulated as such. Sound can be draped, weaved, ripped, folded, pressed, stretched, wrapped, billowed and creased.
Sound through speech as an element of the human is something interesting to consider as a compliment to the image and experience of the human I have explored to date.