Evaporated Music

Revoicing & Gendered Vocalization

2000

Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2004

Artist talk on Evaporated Music, University of Sydney

2007

Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne

2008

Artist talk in the exhibition VIDEO LOGIC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

2009

Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Westspace, Melbourne

2010

Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne

2011

Keynote presentation for ELECTRIFIED VOICES, University of Konstanz, Germany

2012

Keynote presentation for FILM HISTORIES Conference, Victoria University, Melbourne
Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Monash University, Melbourne

2013

Published chapter in Electrified Voices: Medial, Socio-Historical and Cultural Aspects of Voice Transfer, V&R Pres, Gottingen, 2013
Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Artist talk on Evaporated Music, Tisch School of Performing Arts, New York

Notes

Full text available in Electrified Voices: Medial, Socio-Historical and Cultural Aspects of Voice Transfer, V&R Pres, Gottingen, 2013

Revoicing

Revoicing pertains to a rampant mode of replacing the voice with another voice in order to postulate not a transition but an erasure of originating identity (see Funny Accents: The Sound of Racism). Yet revoicing is almost an inevitable outcome in dealing with any recorded form of the voice. Pop post-production, anime US-dubbing, You-tube gag videos, big budget Hollywood CGI animation all engage modes of revoicing.

Evaporation

"When music evaporates from the audio-visual flow of films and music video-clips, the sonic terrorizes all image residue. Invisible noises filter through the unmodulated plane of silence which frames the image track." (from original 1996 notes) Music in films is mostly employed to smother this alienating silence. Music video-clips similarly do not allow sound, atmosphere or noise to disrupt the hermetic world of the song. EVAPORATED MUSIC 1 aggressively removes music from the soundtrack and imports an excess of sound and noise into the visual track.

Grain

Gender is ingrained in the voice like the absence or presence of Adam’s Apple. This is audible in social interaction, cinema acting, and recorded vocal music. Vocal conventions, types and tropes are appended to gender in order to signify its aural aura. This aura arisse from audiovision (the voice’s combine with the image of a face) and audio alone (singing voices heard without seeing the face).

Cinesonic voices

Cinema’s split in vocalised gender is between macho grunting hulks (see Read My Lips: Notes on Film Dialogue) and screaming howling maidens (see I Scream In Silence: Cinema, Sex & The Sound of Women Dying).

Musical voices

Music’s split in vocalised gender runs a similar course, but predominantly song is exploited as the site for celebrating beauty, truth, harmony and nature. Male and female singing maintain a polite gender difference via their consensual agreement of what constitutes the beautiful voice. A counter history of noise, performance, experimentation runs along side this, based on exploring ways to avoid the humanism entailed in the pleasure of the beautiful voice (see Vocalising The Post-Human).

Audiovisual vocalization

Cinematic vocal projection is dedicated toward voicing a gendered performance in line with the required characterization to be made visible through film. Conversely, music videos are dedicated to visualising vocal grain which already clearly states its gender type.

Gendered vocalization

EVAPORATED MUSIC 1 creates vocal types not based on the original vocal performances of the singers, but on the visual stage created for the voice in the video clip.

Elton John – animated corpse – dried withered corporeal utterance
Phil Collins – mirrored ghost – phased modulated communiqué
Billy Joel – electric automaton – vocoded simulation of statement
Celine Dion – crone witch – raspy cat-coughing screeching
Mariah Carey – water nymph – highly feminised robotic breath
Gloria Estefan – wild cougar – fuzzed distorted animalistic scream

Phono-labialization

All EVAPORATED MUSIC 1 vocals are based on labial approximations of the original lyrics. All feature a central track mixed in the centre speaker, some with additional choral backing or pseudo-vocal effects in other speakers.



Text © Philip Brophy 2004. Images © respective copyright holders.