Human Voice and Instrumental Voice: An Investigation of Voicelikeness (2023)

Paola Livorsi

About this exposition

This artistic research explores the relations between human and instrumental voice (in the case of string instruments), seen from an embodied and performative point of view. The question originates from from my experience of violinist and composer. Voice is a unique mark of human identity: if this is particularly true for vocal timbre, something similar is at play in the ‘instrumental voice’, as a unique expression of personal and musical identity. This research aims to uncover the importance of the vocal and instrumental relations, acknowledging their common embodied nature and shared origins. As utterances directed at the ‘other’, both human and instrumental voice are deeply relational. From 2016 to 2022, I investigated the question of voicelikeness between a musician’s voice and their own instrument through five multidisciplinary art projects: in Imaginary Spaces fragments of individual and collective voice inhabited a performative environment shared by musicians and audience; The end of no ending focused on the relationships between two female voices and their mutable surroundings; Between word and life explored the multiple relations of voice and instrument in an electroacoustic space, de-multiplied by bringing in dance and video; Sounding Bodies gathered human and mechanical bodies to explore an unconventional space, inviting the audience to follow their path; Medusa was a music theatre work putting into perspective the question of voicelikeness by evoking Italian Early Baroque music, visual art, and dance. This artistic research was carried out through an artistic process, with supporting methods such as grounded theory, ethnography, and autoethnography, creating a virtuous cycle between practice and theory, with some interesting and unexpected changes taking place in my artistic journey. The research outcomes consist of a written part combined with a collection of traces, sounds, images, and video examples presented on the Research Catalogue. The theoretical framework for this inquiry includes recent studies in paleoanthropology, human development, music psychology, and embodiment. Cavarero’s philosophy of voice, Arendt’s philosophy of the ‘in-between’, various philosophies of the ‘other’, as well as a few contributions from psychoanalysis are put in mutual dialogue with my artistic practice. Among the research outcomes are the re-evaluation of vocal layers in personal and musical identity, considering music making as a relational practice, and an exploration of the porous boundaries between the roles of composer, performer, and listener. In this perspective, the new terms to ‘in-hear’ and to ‘co-hear’ respectively denote an attention to inner sounds, and toward one another in a community of listeners. Keywords: voicelikeness, artistic research, in-between, relationality, embodiment, performative space
typeresearch exposition
keywordshuman voice, instrumental voice, embodiment, performativity, space, place, environment
last modified30/10/2023
share statuspublic
copyrightPaola Livorsi
licenseAll rights reserved
languageBritish English
published inResearch Catalogue

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1536846 Piia_Milla_mirror_3963_n Mirka Kleemola CC BY-NC-ND
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1537136 Medusa introduction 1 Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
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2058087 imaginary spaces description 2 Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
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2058095 Body text Paola Lirvosi Public domain
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2058252 imaginary spaces credit Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
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2142529 voices and spaces description Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
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2142532 voices and spaces credit Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
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2143647 Imaginary_spaces_last Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2143697 2019-04-24_20-02-10-XT2F8424 Antti Ahonen CC BY-NC-ND
2143702 3_Voice and Cello_description Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2143704 voice and cello description 1 Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2143729 2019-04-24_20-06-17-XT2F8532 Antti Ahonen CC BY-NC-ND
2143750 Between_words_life_8_54 Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2143782 Screenshot Between-words Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2143795 Screenshot The-end-1 Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2143806 Screenshot Imaginary-spaces Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2151015 4_Sounding_Bodies_description Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2151016 sounding bodies description 2 Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2151017 sounding bodies description 1 Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2152480 5_Medusa_description Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2152481 medusa description Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2153287 Body text template Paola Livorsi CC BY-NC-ND
2179039 updown-icon Anh Ngo All rights reserved
2179040 down-icon Anh Ngo All rights reserved
2187554 02_Tiresia villa 214-15_annotation Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2187630 glass bowl 2_3 Paola Livorsi All rights reserved
2330746 29954865714_19dd23765b_k Antti Ahonen All rights reserved
2358630 cello_ens_chords Paola Livorsi All rights reserved

comments: 2 (last entry by Jan Schacher - 24/10/2023 at 19:12)