Four Perversions of The Human Voice


It is not only in the visual mirror, but also in the “acoustic mirror”, the one through which we (mis)recognize ourselves when we (hear ourselves) speak, that we first learn to love ourselves in moments of narcissistic auto-affection, to feel a sense of self-regard. The voice is one of the privileged locations around which we develop a sense of personal identity. In sharp contrast to this however, Diderot’s “Rameau’s Nephew,” along with some of the audio files below, allow us perhaps to entertain the possibility of encountering a voice which is neither our own nor simply that of a neighbor, but rather a voice which is radically alien – a voice so strange it chills us, and yet which oddly strikes us at the same time as one we somehow recognize.


We call such a phenomenon an instance of the “uncanny”, that which is eerily all too familiar. The uncanny voice seems either to come from within us though it is not our own, or, conversely, it appears to come from outside ourselves though we oddly recognize it to be ours.

Four (Per)versions of The Voice from Inner Space:

Alessandro Moreschi, The “Last Castrato”
(the real deal)
Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria”

David Daniels
(a contemporary falsetto counter-tenor)
George-Friedrich Handel’s “Xerxes”

Clara Rockmore
(electronic musician, master of the Theremin)
Tschaikovsky’s “Valse Sentimentale”

“Farinelli”
(computerized synthesis of male falsetto and female true soprano)
Georg-Friedrich Handel – “Cara Sposa”

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s