Human voice variations no.2
In this work, Cocteau’s script is not used and the setting is replaced to 21st Century Japan. Originally La voix humaine is a play and this is an electroacoustic music, that makes a transposition work.
Woman’s voice is basically recorded in 3 tones, up, down and flat, and they multiplied in 3 languages up to 9 combinations that comprise matrix. There are parts composed by using this matrix and also there are parts composed by reflection of whispers that can be audible.
Voices were recorded with microphone, and the sounds of the telephone ringing were recorded with both microphone and line connection, using several mobile phones. Plug noise part is recorded using line connected iPhone and playing headphone jack as a noise instrument. Then recoded takes were combined, edited and arranged on ProTools according to the composition above.
The voice performance was by non-professional woman, and criterions were a type and atmosphere of voice. She is a native Japanese speaker and no practice or training of pronunciation was applied before recording in English and French to point up non-nativeness. To compose this work I needed plain and natural materials to make a musical circumstance that sounds common as well as not familiar in the real world. Professional actress, voice actress and professional singer were not adequate to this project.
The only protagonists of this work, both on the original play and your adaptation, are the voice of a woman and the ringing of a telephone.
La voix humaine is a poésie as a play that cuts out a life of happiness and madness lurching between the presence and absence of love. The emotional subtleties and dynamics were described by the simple settings with the voice of a woman and the ringing of a telephone, and the conversation changes into the monologue because the voice on the phone is woman’s side only.
What aspects of voice and sound in Japanese culture, do you want to indagate with your work and your artistic research?
In this work I am interested in the transition of acceptance of Japanese aesthetics. (e.g. Has it changed from Japonisme era in 19th Century or not?) Being cute is one of the virtue in Japan, it is known as Japanese adjective Kawaii, and many animations, computer games, mangas, fashions, idols and vocaloids may have been introduced in Europe, I guess Japanese women still impress exotic and also their maturity/immaturity is distinctive. This is an aspect of Japanese culture of today that I handled in this work, and it may sound to be contradictory but this piece is the most musical one of 3 variations, in the meaning of not using musical tones. Japanese aspects in voice and sound seem versatile to me, there are ambiguousness and ambiguity together.
This work is presented in the form of fixed media of recorded audio with acousmonium etc. and presented in the form of live set with 4 to 8ch multi loudspeakers, accompanies live effect and performing act.
This picture is a live set in Tokyo in 2013, direction and operation by composer, live effect by Itah, and performing act by Hiro, who is the woman of the recorded voice.