parsed utterance

Stereo mix-down of 8 channel sound composition (best heard with headphones):

parsed utterance stereo mixdown


8 channel sound / and video installation / exploring the witness of utterance / Lisa Alexander

Friday 10th January 11am – 8pm / Saturday 11th 11am - 6pm / Monday 13th 10:30 am – 8pm /

2014 / Jubilee Theatre / Roehampton / London


Sound recordings, 8 channel sound composition, video sequences/editing: Lisa Alexander

Pure data interface and chime composition: Rob Canning

Consulation on editing : Mark Harley, Jane Hodge

Technical support and get-in: Tony Forman and Jonathan Wilson


parsed utterance poetically rearranges in time and space the recorded voices of a number of different people. Vocalisation occurred whilst moving (backwards, blindfolded) through specific open places remembering out loud.  Each person’s soundtrack as it travels about the studio expresses something of the unique witness of utterance: the exploratory materiality of the voice.  The words of the story or the audiotext may have been uttered many times before although the performance of each utterance itself was “a récit in a tongue that itself defies translation.” [1] The moment of each voice’s issue has gone forever however it’s recording, replay and reassembly creates new meanings whilst replaying a very old insistence of the body’s voice itself. According to Connor we are apt to “produce ourselves in voice,” by which he refers to the ways in which: “we stage in our voice the very distinction between speaking and hearing which provides the setting in which the voice can resound.” [2] The 8 channels of the sound installation with the series of video sequences explore the aural environments in which the original recordings were made and the repetition of the past through persistent transposition into the present (place). The intention is to indicate something of the agency of sensory experience and its impact upon language in the witness of self and other. The voice also writes.


Further information:


parsed utterance is an eight channel sound and three screen video installation that explores the witness of utterance, its encounter and transcription in place and time. The installation operates on a 23:43 minute loop and can be entered at any time during. It is an immersive experience that plays with directional sound, light and the juxtaposition of striking visual imagery. There are moments of complete black out during the loop. The video sequences were filmed during sunrise and sundown in London, Athens and Whitstable in which a number of the original vocal recordings were made. The sound composition draws on binaural recordings of vocal encounters in open spaces and ambient recordings of home environments. Lisa worked with Irish composer Rob Canning in realising the programming of sections of the composition and its movement through space.


[1] Derrida, J. (1985).  The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation New York, Schocken Books. p.100

[2] Connor, S. (2000). Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism. Oxford, Oxford University Press. p. 6