Aphonae is a live sonic performance informed by the aspect of homelessness as an increasing phenomenon of modern urban life in the age of neoliberal austerity. Commenting on the recent explosion in numbers of rough sleepers within the author’s two home cities, Athens (GR) and Manchester (UK), the piece is composed exclusively from voice recordings, including public-domain Greek news broadcasts on the life of rough sleepers in the Greek capital, and segments from Ryan Priestnall’s documentary on the homeless community in Manchester. The sonic environment juxtaposes real-life accounts of living in the streets by rough sleepers, and the sceptical discourse on the reasons behind the phenomenon perpetuated by some factions of politicians and public officials. The work aims to highlight the difficulties faced by homeless individuals in voicing their experiences, with their recorded accounts are heard unaltered over an arrangement of asynchronous repetitive loops. Contrastingly, speeches given by public officials form the work’s chilling and taciturn drone soundscapes, with few hints of their content revealed intelligibly as to showcase the distance between assumptions made by people in power and the realities of homelessness, as revealed by the affected individuals.
Premiered at Project Trinity in support of charity Booth Centre