hitch (2018)

composition and group performance

The voice records the topographical changes of its environment the hiccup of the voice as a pedestrian steps onto uneven pavement presents a contrast to the smoothness of a conversation held on freshly paved sidewalks. In the article “Giving Voice to Urban Atmospheres, Jean-Paul Thibaud writes of a series of gestures that occur in public everyday life, and make audible the dynamics of places, flows, publics, and exchanges. The articulation gesture, in particular, relates specifically to this idea of the voice as a sonic perspective on terrains.

“... the voice gives expression to a body in motion with all its tensions, fluidity and inertia movements and series of movements. As an acoustic body, it extends and accompanies, renders and reinitialises the physical engagement involved in crossing the square. As such, although Largo itself does not leave much of a vocal trace along the way -- the fluidity of the recording prevails here this is not true at the periphery. The broken footpaths and uneven surfaces give rise to a rhythmical and melodious modulation of speech. Merely stepping up onto the path becomes audible and bears out the effort made by the passerby. The voice takes part in the strollers’ physical engagement and merely expresses what is being accomplished in its own way and this allows us to retrace the entire crossing of Largo step by step, word by word.”

Embedded in the process of creating sound is a natural recording of the body’s physical condition and location. Using the physical geography of the stairwell, the piece aims to reveal these natural functions of recording in the voice. Each step up or down the stairs is caught in the voice as a waver or a dying breath. Begiinning from the fourth floor, the participants were asked to sing and maintain a constant pitch and volume as they climbed the stairs. The different speeds with which one takes the stairs, the polite shuffle to the side to make way for another, the passing of two bodies in the same or opposite direction all of these shifts of the body made themselves apparent in the voice. 

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