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Vowels Accumulate Over Days and Months

An experiment in beading, accrual, and tonality by Steph Horak

Yesterday, on a brand new SoundCloud account, the artist Steph Horak posted a track of layered vocals, just tones, just soft vowels, that when played against each other yield a familiar, lovely, gently abrasive beading that sounds less like a choir of one and more like a glass harmonica played by an expert soloist. Her explanation is that it’s part of an art project that accrues and amasses individual tones over time on a regular basis.

Here is Horak’s description:

I am attempting to sing a note a day for a year because I want to know if my body holds a certain tension, or harmony, a resonant bias. Therefore, I record each day’s note in isolation, without hearing any of the previous days, and then I make a mix of the month. This is a somewhat indulgent side-project. This is not about singing in tune. This is about data. Trigger warning: People with absolute pitch may find this jarring to listen to.

The track is labeled “366 JANUARY 2016,” though it’s unclear how much time is accounted for, how many vowels over how many days.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/threehundredandsixtysix. More from Horak at her other SoundCloud account, soundcloud.com/sheisrevolting, and at stephhorak.wordpress.com and noisevagina.tumblr.com, the latter of which includes this intriguing sonified lipstick case:

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Horak works as part of the computing department at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she earned an MA in 2013. (Track found via a repost by soundcloud.com/leafcutterjohn.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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