Sci-Fi Techno Play

Siren’s Voice is an engaging five-part audio drama about a techno musician who is contacted by a woman who claims to be from the future. The musician, whom we know by his first name, Sean, performs and records under the moniker Cyanide, and he’s embarking on an overseas tour when the woman’s voice first intrudes on his thoughts. Travel proves so exhausting to Sean that he’s not sure if the voice is his imagination or not; all he really wants is some rest and privacy. Soon enough, though, he’s intrigued by his ghostly inquisitor, whose line of questioning, delivered in a voice as ethereal as it is husky, may even be arousing him. The drama’s segments are each five minutes in length, and are available for free as MP3 files on a promotional website. (Originally the files were distributed on Napster and other peer-to-peer services, and much of the Siren’s Voice website promotes P2P file-swapping as a unique performance venue; the P2P theorizing is interesting, but in this case the message, fortunately, is more substantial than the medium by which it is transmitted.) Also available is an MP3 of a song credited to Cyanide, which according to the site was recorded once Cyanide had come to grips with his otherworldly experience. The electronic-music theme works well in Siren’s Voice, providing a stylish aural backdrop and infusing the story with a techno-spiritual vibe, like something straight out of a Japanese manga or a cyberpunk story by William Gibson or Richard Kadrey. The five-minute episodes are seamlessly edited, and the traditional tools of the electronic musician (sampling, reverb, sound effects, quick edits) are also employed in the telling of the story. Siren’s Voice was directed by Bernard Vehmeyer from a script by Willem Verhoef, with music by Roy Cordu, who records for Rush Hour, an Amsterdam-based label. They’ve successfully applied the old-time radio format to a contemporary music phenomenon set in the sci-fi near future.

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