thinking through music, sound and culture

Category: ventrilo-dialogue

On Influence And Voice

This is a post about influence and voice.

It’s about how each of us is influenced by one another–by other writers, musicians, teachers.

By voice I don’t mean our actual speaking voices (though those can have their influence too).

I mean that something in the character and essence and presence of each of us that resonates outward and affects others–whether we know it or not.

I think about this because it amazes me how deeply I can be influenced by just a single voice.

Which reminds me: voice is always singular.

By influence I mean a process of immediately taking on some of the qualities of another’s voice in one modality or another.

In being influenced we become ventriloquists of sorts, channeling and re-voicing those who have influenced us. I’ve explored this idea of ventriloquism in my Ventrilo-Dialogues, such as this one.

I have encountered a small number of influential voices in my orbit of experience, and I continue to discover new ones, though not very often now. Sometimes the voices are those of people I know, sometimes they are musical voices, and sometimes they are writing voices.

What is most significant about the influence of another’s voice, though, is the metamorphosis of its influence into immediate change. As you assume the voice, you assume persona, inhabit gesture and space, and take on affect in a new way. Like when a music teacher shows you something and says: “Do it like this.” You do it like that and immediately assume a new voice–or at least get a glimpse of what that voice feels like. Not on you, but as you.

So, as this is a blog post about influence and voice, it is also about how malleable we are.

All we need to do is pay attention to the process.

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation With Arvo Pärt

Chant: “(Advocatam) Llibre Vermell de Montserrat”

Arvo Pärt: “Da Pacem Domine”

Arvo Pärt: “Mein Weg”

Aphex Twin: “Rhubarb”

(Note: If you are looking for further musical juxtapositions, press play on the chant clip and when it arrives at 0:05 press play on the first Pärt clip [and turn up its volume slightly] and listen to the mix.)

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation With Taal

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation With A Composer

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation With Autechre

Autechre, “Dropp” (from EP7)

Autechre, “Overand” (from Tri Repetae)

Autechre, “Simmm” (from Quaristice)

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation About Euphony And Groove

Ventrilo-Dialogue: A Conversation About Ventrilo-Dialogue Theory

Ventrilo-Dialogue: Music Making, Technology And The Post-Human


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers