Voicing was produced and composed by Mara Schwerdtfeger.
The piece is an interweaving abstract conversation exploring the concept of voice through a series of four sound elements. The deconstructable nature of the piece allows for multiple forms of expression to be heard both as individual voices and together as an active cohesion of sound.
We encourage you to play with these different voices – voice, viola, environments and sound objects – in your own time. We’ve got each of the separate voices listed there, so you can hear they interact, relate, and reflect back on each other within your own sonic environment. Play with them how you like.
Voicing is composed of 4 recordings which are in conversation with each other.
You can listen simultaneously in two ways:
Build a physical quadraphonic sound installation by placing four devices around you. On each device play one of the four voices (don’t worry about pressing play in sync). Feel free to move around the space and attune your focus to the different voices. You may play any number of voices at a time.
You can also deconstruct the conversation and listen to the voices individually.
Learning a musical instrument from a young age I began to use my viola as a second voice and from there, broadened my awareness of sound to understand how my personal spaces, routines and possessions also form identity.
Taking influence from Pauline Oliveros’ ‘Sonic Meditations’, ‘Voicing’ brings these ideas of sonic awareness inwards, in turn reflecting on the environments and objects the voices exist in. Each voice mimics, melds, reflects and opposes the others with equal attention. By placing these sounds in conversation, potential relationships between sounds, objects, and ideas expand through and in speculative dialogues and environments.
Giving agency to the listener through the construction of a physical quadraphonic installation and altering interactivity to how the voices are played together, the conversation is changeable, deconstructable and complete all at once. How the conversation between the four voices occurs is your decision as the listener. Moving through four stages of understanding, from the moment of making a basic sound to learning and practicing, before drawing on emotional impressions to experiment and push the sounds beyond their original source. The movability and manipulation of the voice elements gives insight to how one digests sound in a larger narrative journeying inward from the outer real world into a speculative sound environment.
Using personal and specific sounds to speak more broadly to the human relationship of sound as a communication and expression, ‘Voicing’ builds a sound world that allows perspectives to be shifted, giving different "voices" greater value in not only the conversation but in general coexistence.
things which informed and inspired this piece:
Rhetorical Chorus - Megan Alice Clune: This was one of the first pieces that made me explore the use of voice in music more deeply. How the voice is a personal sound and one of our main tools of communication is very powerful.
Lachrimae Antiquae Novae - Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI, John Dowland: At the beginning of this project I was really getting into baroque string music and reminding myself of how I can use my instruments.
Ivey Wawn - Greyness and Infinity - : I really like how these bodies work together and apart simultaneously.
links from Mara:
The Manus Recording Project Collective: The Manus Recording Project Collective have just presented their work 'where are you today' throughout August. Every day they have sent a text message to subscribers with a link to a ten minute recording from one of the men in the collective who are currently in detention. They have an archive of intimate and tangible field recordings from the project online.
Mara Schwerdtfeger is a sound artist and composer creating performed pieces and commissioned soundtracks for dance, film, and installations. Her practice explores the crossover between physical and digital environments through the use of field recording and digital manipulation. She holds a bachelor of design (digital media) from RMIT and attended LungA School where she collaborated with peers on weekly exhibitions, creating and curating an array of works. Having studied violin from the age of four Mara completed her Viola AmusA in 2016 and performs in multiple bands and duos as well as solo. She currently works with Liquid Architecture producing their podcast series.