Vocal Futures. On the phonographic deconstruction of the voice and its “humanity

“What is it about them,” Billie Eilish breathes into millions of ears as if she expects an answer from every single listener. The sound experience of the human voice, the “supposedly most human instrument”, is coupled to a range of expectations that seem to revolve around concepts that have degenerated into empty phrases such as “emotionality” and “authenticity”. Death Cab For Cutie lead singer and guitarist Ben Gibbard, for example, criticizes the excessive use of vocal processing technologies, such as AutoTune in particular, since the singers no longer sound like “actual human beings”. But is that really so bad? Lukas Iden and Sophia Tobis offer an answer to this naive rhetorical question with their audio paper Vocal Futures. On the phonographic deconstruction of the voice and its “humanity”.

Malte Pelleter and Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt offered the seminar Sounds Like The Future in the summer semester 2019. Futurhythmaschinische Gestaltung 1932-2020, which took place both at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and the University of Hildesheim. As a form of examination, an audio paper was planned, including the one by Lukas Iden and Sophia Tobis entitled Vocal Futures. On the phonographic deconstruction of the voice and its “humanity” was created. The article including audio paper and script on the website of the AG Auditive Media Cultures and Sound Studies can be found here:

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