The instrument, bowed
VOICE BOW - The human voice as a string instrument

VOICE BOW is a new instrument I developed during and especially for the SHAPE+ residency and which I first played at the Sonic Exegesis presentation.

The instrument is based on a a simple string instrument - a string bow, also called "mouth bow". 
It is a wooden monochord, played with the hands or a wooden stick, sometimes mouth-resonated.

With a touch sensor - a sliding soft potentiometer - and a guitar pickup I transformed this object into a new electronic instrument. The human voice is the sound material - it sounds only when you play the string.
The way the string is played - plucked, beaten or bowed - shapes the sound of the voice.
From percussion-like plucked plosives to slowly bowed sustained vowels, the instrument enables a rich spectrum of haptic and intuitive forms of expressions for the medium of the electronic voice.  

In my piece for "Sonic exegesis" I interpreted with this instrument the chapter "How to change your frequency" from Haytham El-Wardany's book "How to disappear". I used recordings of the author's and my own voice - spoken, whispered and sung and played them plucked, beaten and bowed with the Voice bow.

technical sketch


instrument with bow


Sonic Exegesis
Ulla Rauter