As a writer and artist involved in live vocal performance and sited work, the creation of audio-oral works has always been an essential part of what I do, whether as solo recordings or with collaborators.
Working with sound and voice gives me the opportunity to explore the detailed voicing of texts, the intricacies of speech, through simple recording ideas, longer audio narratives, as well as more complex collaborative projects. The selection below consists mainly of discrete pieces, where I have used the possibilities of recorded speech to play with language at the level of breath, rhythmic patterns, fractals, language noise, technological manipulation. There is the immediacy of listening. Precision and playfulness. More recently, this is allowing me to move my work towards involving other speakers, and other languages than my own.
Oh My Oh My
15 secs, 2015. Vocal jingle hosted on the MAMCO museum website (Geneva) to announce the solstice performance Love Song. Reprised and fully developed in Ragadawn.
Up We Get
4’50 mins. 2015. Studio work created w/ David Scrufari (Geneva) for the introductory section of the solstice performance Love Song (2015). Reprised as part of Ragadawn. The project
Hafville (submerged voice)
9 mins. 2015. Audiotext created for the Drift installation (NY) using the “Hafville” section of the work. Recorded and created with Graham Williams (London) using a combination of microphones. Display: hanging headphone facing “Zodiac” constellation mural. The project
1’33”. 2013. First created for the “City & The City” showing (Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh) to accompany my “Wall of Broadsides” from Middling English. Recorded at All Saints Chapel, Blackheath. The project
Together (1.Keeping it)
3’33”. 2014. Breath and voice piece in 3 parts. Commissioned by the MAMCO Museum, Geneva and Espace 2/National Swiss Radio to be installed and broadcast by satellite on the night of Art’s Birthday, 17 Jan. Short radio interview with producer Anne Gillot (in French)
Together (3. Doing it)
4’29”. 2015. Breath and voice piece in 3 parts. Bass clarinet: Anne Gillot. Commissioned by the MAMCO Museum, Geneva and Espace 2/National Swiss Radio. Produced by Anne Gillot. Installed at the museum and broadcast by satellite radio on the night of Art’s Birthday, 17 Jan.
VIA (48 Dante Variations)
10’02”. 2000. Variation piece based on 47 translations into English of Dante’s opening lines of The Inferno. The 48th variation composed by Ciaran Maher as a fractal structure from the voice recording.
“In the summer 2000, a reading of the variations was made with Ciarán. Using calculations set up via his software, he unearthed an added line, an imperceptible grain, my voice’s fractals, and we let it run, hardly audible, underneath the structure of the reading voice, inextricably tied to it, yet escaping it, releasing from it a surprising beauty, magnified shrapnels of interior sound. The 48th variation”. from Note to Via, in Fig (2004).
4’40”. sonic writing. Speaking writing voice , simultaneous sound of writing pen. The aloud-writing is showing up the connections of a hand tied to writing. Created as a response to Bryon Gysin I AM THAT I AM.
“I use the phoneme to signify cultural accent. Between a british dry T of the writer that writes. And the American wet T of the wrider that writes. The rider writes. The writer rides. Writing a riding voice, riding a writing hand-voice. There’s a wriding that extends into sexual imagery, action on another and with another, writing as technological frictions, mounting language”. (On Ride – unpublished talk).
Produced by Optic Nerve for the CD of early works: VIA Poems 1994-2004 (Rockdrill 8
3’38”. 2004. Voice and chalk. Created from the audio score of Bryon Gysin’s I AM THAT I AM. Unpublished preparation piece for Ride. “I was also interested in the strong and unexamined genderedness of the recorded masculine voice. His serious and humourous professorial tone. The way the whole piece is structured as a lesson, a lesson in imposing a solo artistic identity, a named male presence seemingly without any difficulty. A lesson in how one owns language” ( On Ride – unpublished talk).
More Pets (DJ Rupture mix)
2’55”. 2009. Mix by DJ Rupture for his album Solar Life Raft (Agriculture). “Caroline Bergvall recites cheery nonsense about animals in a voice as fluent and mellifluous as the music. And the mixing is, of course, excellent.” Pitchfork.
FUSES (DJ Rupture mix)
2’25”. 2004. Studio mix from live solo reading. On Dj Rupture’s impeccably varied and hectic Shotgun Wedding Vol. 1: The Bidoun Sessions.
2’54”. 2004. Recorded live.
Ludic bilingual variation-based piece from the final section of Goan Atom. I considered it the piece’s climactic operatic song.
Often performed live. Here a sonorous and bad recording but great atmos. Published on Audio Poetry CD: Frequency One compiled by CA Conrad & Maggie Zurawski.
The Host Tale
5’07”, 2010. Solo Voice. Text developed using Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as a transhistoric poetics experiment. Here collating food and wine references from the original and read in Middle English via a Scandi accent. First installed as part of my Middling English show, John Hansard Gallery.
5’06”. 2010. Read by Nicolas Rowe. From my “Shorter Chaucer Tales”, this one heavily inspired by the greed of the banking crisis and the linguistic dystopias of Riddley Walker and Clockwork Orange. Recorded and created for my Middling English installation as one of its four “ballads” .
Rapid Eye Movement (part 2).
6’18”. 1994. One of my first recorded audio pieces. Variation-based. Sound composed and mixed by Kaffe Matthews. Recorded in the Garden Studio while we both were at Dartington College of Arts, wonderful arts college now defunkt. Birthplace of Performance Writing.
5 Actions: VOICE
0’38”. 2007. Solo voice. Track 1 of a short series called Five Actions. Working with conjunctions and prepositions for linking and rhythm. First installed at Tate Modern (2013) & Khoj International Artists’ Association (New Delhi, 2014). Recording: Speech Recording Studios. Texts unpublished as yet.