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Aphonae is a live sound 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 servants. Highlighting the difficulties faced by homeless individuals in voicing their experiences when compared to the secure public platform given to politicians, the live performance disguises the latter’s voices into a chilling and taciturn drone, while the rough sleepers’ accounts are overlaid unaltered over an arrangement of asynchronous repetitive loops.

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Premiered on May 2018 at Sacred Trinity Church for Project: Trinity in support of charities Booth Centre and Winter Night Shelter. Photo by Darya Meszkes