The VoiceLine is a unique sound instrument for voice, sound, music and audio storytelling, celebrating the histories of radio and listening which began on The Strand 100 years ago and changed the world.
As an instrument, The Voiceline can be used by any artist to produce new things we could never have imagined. We asked three leading creatives to compose new works for the installation.
We have also teamed up with our neighbours and friends 180 Studios who have introduced three spectacular works from 180 Studios residents WePresent, Julianknxx and The Doc Society. These three compositions have been specially adapted and spatially remixed for The Voiceline.
See the daily schedule for performance times.
Contemporary voice and the sounds of 1920s radio take flight in this piece exploring resonances between early wireless and telepathy. This new piece for Voice Line features singer Melanie Pappenheim as ‘sensitive Eileen’ - an occult figure from the 1920s. In the Harper’s story Out of the Air (1922) Eileen is found by a stricken radio tower, with arms flung wide and fingers spread like antennae, tuning into the harmonies of the ether. As described in Haunted Media (Jeffrey Sconce, 2000)
Sarah Angliss is a composer and electronic artist whose music explores the sonorities of voices and ancient instruments, revealing and augmenting them with her distinctive electronic techniques. Sarah draws on her lifelong interest in European folklore, cybernetics and esoteric sound culture. In 2021 she received a Visionary Award from the Ivors Academy for her body of work.
Radio means a lot to me. My earliest musical inspirations are rooted in Jamaican radio. I started out listening to radio programs that I would record on cassettes and supply to friends, family. The constant focus on sound allowed me to create seamless recordings on the cassettes. This is the basis of my journey as a music producer and DJ. Currently around one third of Jamaica is not on the internet. Traditional radio still serves as a means for them to connect with the world outside. As a former colony of The United Kingdom, we hear UK programs on our local airwaves. ‘Update Radio’ is a chance for me to share Jamaican voices and features back to The United Kingdom.
Gavsborg is an experimental sound artist, musician and producer and member of the dancehall music collective Equiknoxx. He is based in kingston, Jamaica
Matthew Herbert delivers a portrait of The India Club recorded in March 2023, turning this beloved and historic restaurant and hotel inside out with the voices of those who visit and work there.
Matthew Herbert is a prolific musician, artist, producer and writer whose range of innovative works extends from numerous albums (including the much-celebrated Bodily Functions) to Ivor Novello nominated film scores (Life in a Day) as well as music for the theatre, Broadway, TV, games and radio. He has performed solo, as a DJ and with various musicians including his own 18 piece big band all round the world from the Sydney opera house, to the Hollywood Bowl and created installations, plays and opera.
An essay about music and caves by Jarvis Cocker exploring the origins of listening and its relationship to space.
This work is generously provided by WePresent
An account on blindness inspired by writer and theologian John M. Hull, who became totally blind after decades of steadily deteriorating vision. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, Hull began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. In this piece specially adapted for The Voiceline, from a pivotal scene in the feature documentary film 'Notes on Blindness' by James Spinney and Peter Middleton, Hull describes, in his own words, the experience of rain to a non sighted person.
Thanks to James Spinney, Peter Middleton
Julianknxx presents an exploration of breathing as a reflection of the way we live, impacts of air pollution, stress, anxiety, and the seam of prejudice. This sound work is specially adapted from the film soundtrack of Black Corporeal (Breathing by Numbers) by Julianknxx with sound design and music by Paul Cousins.
The piece layers the voice of Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah’s moving account of the the tragic loss of her daughter, Ella, to air pollution related asthma with poetry, essay, documentary and music to create a potent social justice message to draw attention not only to her campaign but to the continuing stark realities of environmental poverty.
Thanks to Julianknxx Studio and Paul Cousins
Audio Producer Artist Commissions
Community Engagement Producer