Les Voix Humaines: - worldizing Byrne playing Marais

Martin Parker (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

Abstract / Description of output

This is the second of three pieces exploring recordings made by Liam Byrne of viola da gamba pieces commissioned for the BBC's Late Junction programme.

Les Voix Humaines examines an idea relating to film sound design first coined and developed by Walter Murch --worldizing. His technique suggests that there is no better way to mix elements developed in the studio with the real world than actually playing them back "out there". For this piece, Liam's recording of Marais' Voix Humaines is not interfered with at all, in as much as computer processing is concerned. Instead, the piece has been played back out "on the street" near where I live and picked up again by a pair of microphones that hear the viol being played, perhaps as if busked.

Here, I think, we're invited to listen to the music as if the listener were suspended somewhere between a pair of headphones and the sound of the world. The interference and interaction between these two sound worlds is a musical dialogue and journey in itself. It is intentional that the world overwhelms Marais' music at times, but in the context of a busy, noisy street, with the interactions of people, places, vehicles, it perhaps helps draw attention to the richness and vitality of the sounds that we live within.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBBC Radio 3
Media of outputOnline
Size8.9mb
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2013

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