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Whilst living with chronic tinnitus is mostly a nuisance, paying attention to the sounds produced by the damaged inner-ear hair cells can be a rather interesting sonic experience. In this particular case, the three sounds that follow me everywhere often interact in intricate ways as to create alluring minimalist compositions.
En Voe began as a synthesis exercise in recreating those sounds – a modulating low hum on the left, crashing waves on the right, and a high frequency whine on both ears. Further to the constant elements, processed violin recordings were also used, representing some of the more transient and naturally occurring sounds on one’s auditory system.
The resulting droning and monotonous composition can be a challenging experience, and it often imposes a brief auditory print to the listener, providing a firsthand but temporary experience of the effects of tinnitus on one’s auditory system.
A silent version of En Voe was released as part of Closet Music: Imaginary Soundworlds compilation, curated by Janet Oates. The score invites the listener to imagine the piece through mental sonic prompts.
Katie Tavini – violin