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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
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