Vocal Crisis

Instrumentation: flute and Max/MSP



Audio View Score

"'Vocal Crisis' means a crisis in the voice, but it also means articulate crisis, crisis given voice. Hardly an interruption of diva art, vocal crisis is the diva's self-lacerating announcement that interruption has been, all along, her subject and method" (Wayne Koestenbaum, The Queen's Throat pp.128-9). The possession of a voice is inseparable from narratives of crisis. The voice may undergo an untimely interruption, faltering without warning, betraying a self that is alien, incapable of meeting societal expectations. But crisis also has a voice of its own, one that forces a state of inner trauma into the public realm. In Vocal Crisis (2012) the computer is a temperamental mouthpiece for the flute, at times speaking for the flute, and at other times distorting the flute by responding in a discontinuous, unpredictable manner. The flute's gradual separation from the computer is not merely a crisis of voice, but an unveiling of the inner workings of a vocal instrument.