Sounds of Now: Voice(less)

Cover Squirrel – Laura Bowler

Cover Squirrel looks at the voice from several perspectives; the development and interrogation of a voice, the practice of the voice, the computerised and recorded voice, the singing, the spoken, the broken, the lost and the unintelligible voice. Beginning with the practice of voice and its relationship to instrumental practice and performance, the singer is soon transported into a game of triggers switching between aria, live interrogation and physical gesture. (Laura Bowler 2019).


code works: any chance of war? – mira calix

Text – Hannah Weiner (1969)

This piece explores semaphore, morse code and voice, and speaks directly to Middleton’s larger question of what it means to be voiceless. The starkness of the non-verbal codes against the narrative of war highlights human vulnerability. (mira calix 2020)

Read more here.

“En-he-du-an-na-me-en*” – Esin Gunduz

*I am Enheduanna

Inspired by “The Exaltation of Inanna” (Enheduanna, 2300 BCE), this work examines power, resistance and a voice reborn. Gunduz is inspired by interference and transformation; the electronic track is made up of multi-layered recordings of Middleton’s voice. The soundworld travels between the character’s innermost sounds and the outer limits of resonance. (Esin Gunduz). Read more here.

Read more about the Voice(less) project here.

Rosie Middleton

Mezzo-soprano Rosie Middleton specialises in new music. In 2019 Rosie was artist-in-residence at Snape Maltings and The Banff Centre, where she collaborated with composers on voice(less) – a series for voice and electronics with works by Mira Calix, Laura Bowler, Esin Gunduz and Michael Betteridge exploring voice loss and communication.

Highlights of 2020-21 include Laura Bowler’s Gold with Riot Ensemble, a Somerset House Residency with Catherine Kontz on 12 Hours, winning the Michiko Hirayama Prize for experimental vocal music and Jamie Hamilton’s Versionland with Phaedra Ensemble.

An experienced performer of contemporary opera, Rosie has created roles in Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre), Michael Betteridge’s #echochamber (Reykjavik/UK Tour), Catherine Kontz’ A Certain Sense of Order (UK and Luxembourg tour), Alastair White’s Robe and Guy Harries’ Two Caravans. In 2020 she was cast in the Royal Opera House production of She Described it to Death (cancelled due to covid-19).

Rosie’s 20th and 21st century core repertoire includes Pierrot Lunaire (Southbank Centre – reviewed as ‘staggeringly good’ – New Statesman), Boulez Le marteau sans maître, Berio Sequenza III and Saariaho From the Grammar of Dreams.

In 2022, Rosie worked with Melanie Wilson on Oracle: The Dreaming Species, performed the world premieres of Philip Cashian’s Madrigali with cellist Louise McMonagle and Athanasia Kontou’s Antigone: Pure in her Crime with the Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10. She will perform in Laura Bowler’s The Blue Woman at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre in July and at Snape Maltings in September 2022.

Future projects include collaborations with Diana Soh and Laura Bowler for voice, movement and ensemble, Wernicke’s Area – an installation created by Owen Boss and Emily Howard for ANU Productions in Dublin in October 2022 and a performance of voice(less) with violinist Angharad Davies for Music in the Round. Read more here.

Angharad Davies

Angharad Davies is a Welsh violinist based in London working with free-improvisation, compositions and performance.

Her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the sonic confines of her instrument, her classical training and performance expectation.

Much of her work involves collaboration. She has long standing duos with Tisha Mukarji, Dominic Lash and Lina Lapelyte and plays with Common Objects, Cranc and Skogen. She has been involved in projects with Tarek Atui, Tony Conrad, Richard Dawson, Gwenno, Roberta Jean, Jack McNamara, Rie Nakajima, Tim Parkinson, Eliane Radigue, Georgia Ruth and J.G.Thirlwell.

Most of her records are released on Another Timbre but she also has releases on Absinth Records, Confrontrecords, Emanem, Potlatch and winds measure recordings.Her first orchestral piece was commissioned by LCMF in 2019.


Watch Music in the Round’s promotional trailer for our first Voice(less) event in Sheffield:


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