Miriama Young’s work explores the voice & the body in music, sound art & prose. This occurs through direct physical engagement in sound art installations (Solstice Lamp, an interactive sound and light experience for Vivid Sydney 2013); or through opera (Zen Story for Scottish Opera); or art song (Inner Voices of Blue); or though spoken word (The Prime Cut; 1, 000 Kisses; Speak Volumes); and sometimes using new technologies in conjunction with the voice, utilising bespoke hardware (Chatterbox, Titlipur); as well as representations of the synthesised voice and its mimicry (The Point of Contact); her work also explores the inverse: voiceless music (Speechless – The Polar Realm).

Radio NZ Concert recording of The Grey Ghost

Radio New Zealand Concert have produced a stunning recording of my new work, The Grey Ghost, for Piano + Electronics (played from smartphones).

The performance formed part of Xenia Pestova’s Chamber Music NZ tour August 2017.

Check it on my Bandcamp playlist (to the right).

Listen to the review here.

The Grey Ghost

for Piano + Electronics

Commissioned and premiered by Xenia Pestova for Chamber Music New Zealand tour, 2017

The Grey Ghost is a meditation in piano and electronics drawing on the ancient song of the once prolific North Island Kōkako.

Download SyncSound App to participate in Miriama Young’s The Grey Ghost. The live performance relies on you! The App streams a soundtrack of transformed birdsong whilst Xenia plays piano.

Once downloaded, please switch iPhone to “Auto-Lock -> Never” (Under Settings -> Display & Brightness). (This means the entire soundtrack will play without stopping.)

Then follow the downbeat of the pianist to press ‘play’.

The bird’s distinctive call closely resembles that of its possibly extinct South Island cousin, known as ‘The Grey Ghost’, last officially recorded at Mount Aspiring National Park, 1967.

Renewed efforts are currently in place to confirm the presence or extinction of this species.

Recordings of North Island Kōkako supplied by the New Zealand Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai.

Thanks to the Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne for supporting this project.

This Earthly Round – new recording out now!

HD Duo have made a made a magnificent recording of my piece, ‘This Earthly Round’. You can hear a sample here.

There’s a nice review of the album here, in which Rob Barnett says, ‘This Earthly Round is delightful and original with a sort of slow, piercing, urgent mournfulness about it. It’s one of the highest points of this disc, fully exploring its engaging material.’

 

Singing the Body Electric: The Human Voice and Sound Technology

 

9780754669869

Singing the Body Electric: The Human Voice and Sound Technology  (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), ISBN: 978-0-754-66986-9

Listed in Best Books 2015 @ Times Higher Education.

“Young presents a brilliant account of how the voice has been preserved, transformed and even imagined in relation to technology. The 13-page list of electro-vocal pieces alone is a superb resource.” – Dr Elizabeth Dobson for Times Higher Education. 

“Young provides a necessary exchange between scholarly knowledge and creative practice…. what is voice, what is it? The book insightfully and imaginatively highlights this critical question by cutting, repeating, scratching, and reassembling it. It indeed sings the body electric through its conversations.” – Dr Zeynep Bulut in Twentieth-Century Music.

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Singing the Body Electric explores the relationship between the human voice and technology, offering startling insights into the ways in which technological mediation affects our understanding of the voice, and more generally, the human body. From the phonautograph to magnetic tape and now to digital sampling, Miriama Young visits particular musical and literary works that define a century-and-a-half of recorded sound. She discusses the way in which the human voice is captured, transformed or synthesised through technology. This includes the sampled voice, the mechanical voice, the technologically modified voice, the pliable voice of the digital era, and the phenomenon by which humans mimic the sounding traits of the machine.

The book draws from key electro-vocal works spanning a range of genres – from Luciano Berio’s Thema: Omaggio a Joyce to Radiohead, from Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room, to Björk, and from Pierre Henry’s Variations on a Door and a Sigh to Christian Marclay’s Maria Callas. In essence, this book transcends time and musical style to reflect on the way in which the machine transforms our experience of the voice. The chapters are interpolated by conversations with five composers who work creatively with the voice and technology: Trevor Wishart, Katharine Norman, Paul Lansky, Eduardo Miranda and Bora Yoon. This book is an interdisciplinary enterprise that combines music aesthetics and musical analysis with literature and philosophy.

Speechless – The Polar Realm

Speechless – The Polar Realm , a spectacular feature film by Richard Sidey (with my music) is rolling out at festivals everywhere.

Screenings are here.

The score is performed by the illustrious Mirabai Peart and Ryan Francesconi, among others.

“Powerful visuals and a compelling score. Truly does leave us Speechless.” – Paul Nicklen | National Geographic

“A true inspiration to love and respect Earth’s last great wilderness.” – Robert Swan | 2041

“A beautiful nature film that is, and literally will leave you, speechless.” – Anna Tokareva | Concrete Playground

Solstice Lamp

A short documentary and showcase of our Interactive sound and light project, Solstice Lamp for Vivid Sydney 2013


Great working with you, Digital Pulse and Amplify Festival!

Newsflash: This animation is a finalist in the Titles and Openers category of the Australian Effects and Animation Awards 2013!