Voice Electrification
Workshop Julia Mihály

Workshop on Composing for voice and live-electronics
Tutor: Julia Mihály (voice & live-electronics)
Workshop with selection process
For participants of the Darmstadt Summer Course 2018 (vocalists, composers)
Maximum number of participants: 8-10
Passive participation: possible upon arrangement
Deadline for submission of applications: 15 January 2018

Working phases:
Phase 1: 16–20 March 2018 (SELMA Frankfurt/Main)
Phase 2: 14–28 July 2018 (Darmstadt Summer Course)

Target group:
Composers, vocalists, vocal performers

Prior knowledge:
Composers: Prior knowledge of a common audio programming environment (Max / Max for Live, Pd, SuperCollider, Csound, Reaktor, or similar)

Vocalists: Classical vocal training is appreciated but not mandatory. Experience with electronics is not required.
Please note that there will be an additional voice studio by Donatienne Michel-Dansac. It will be possible to work in both classes.

Required participants’ equipment:
It is assumed that everyone participating as a composer will bring their own laptop and an audio interface. Controllers such as MIDI controllers, motion sensors, USB cams, gaming devices, wearable controllers etc. can be brought if available.


  • Chamber-music interaction between performer and computer
  • Expansion of the vocal sound spectrum by means of live-electronics and exploration of forms of vocal expression beyond physiological boundaries
  • The performer’s body as an interface
  • Use of electronic devices in performances

The workshop addresses both composers and classical vocalists or vocal performers. In a process of joint experimenting compositions performed by voice and live-electronics are to be developed with a focus on the aspect of chamber-music interaction between vocalist and computer. Pieces for live-electronics are expressly welcome. It is intended to present the compositions created during the workshop in the framework of a workshop concert.
Composers and vocalists will jointly become acquainted with perspectives and challenges of the combination voice & live-electronics and explore possibilities within their own artistic expression. In this context, the following issues will be covered, among others:

  • How can vocalists react to electronic alienation of their own voices in a multi-faceted way and interact with such alienation?
  • Which vocal techniques are best suited for which electronic modulation procedures?
  • How much knowledge of vocal sound production is required for composers and how much information do vocalists need for a conscious and creative use of electronic sound modulation?
  • How can the control of electronics be integrated into the performance during singing?
  • How much control of electronics can be exercised by vocalists on stage without causing too much distraction?
  • How must pieces and pertaining patches be designed in order to enable performance by the vocalists themselves during standard concerts without the composer’s attendance?
  • What extent of technical equipment is viable for standard concerts? What extent of technical complexity is acceptable in view of reliable performability?
  • How can pieces for voice and live-electronics be notated in a sensible and viable way?

This project is a cooperation between IMD and the Studio for elektronic music and acoustics (SELMA) at Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt/Main.

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