Die Voices Anthologie ist eine privat zusammengestellte Sammlung von Tonaufnahmen der Stimme. Diese Sammlung ist im Rahmen des Seminars FAQ – For Autonomous Quarantiners bei Dr. Livia Piazza entstanden. Das zum Selbststudium anregende Seminar ermöglicht Studierenden des Instituts für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft einem selbstgewählten Thema theoretisch zu begegnen und dieses auf unterschiedliche Weisen zu behandeln.
Für eine Einleitung zu der
Anthologie klicke auf das Bild mit dem Hund: His Master's Voice.
Acousmêtre or acousmatics, "specifies an old dictionary, "is said of a sound that is heard without its cause or source being seen." We can never praise Pierre Schaeffer enough for having unearthed this arcane word in the 1950S. He adopted it to designate a mode of listening that is commonplace today. systematized in the use of radio, telephones, and phonograph records."
continous sound, an indication for suspense, tension.
There is a fascination on the "holding of the breath". Just think of the children holding their breath in the kitchen of Jurassic Park so the raptors won't hear them or the almost threatening continuity of breathing of Darth Vader who übermensch-like seems to be neither machine nor human.
Still, when do you hear breathing? You can listen to your own inhale/exhale or if you are very close to someone else. So it seems hauntingly unnatural that in "Suspiria" the girls can listen to the breathing of the school's mistress which seems to come from everywhere...
very close to the listener, stereotypical characters. // "One of the most influential parts of any commercial is the voice you hear. The voice actor needs to be able to fit the tone of the brand as well as provide sell the product or service. Depending on the target market and demographic, the voice may sound like the guy next door, an educated professional or a fun and lively teenager. [...] Case in point: a commercial voice over for a rugged four-wheel drive truck is going to sound very different from the voice you’ll hear selling a luxury sports car."
close to the listener, most of the time it is a descriptive voice-over, similar to a narrator's voice.
Sometimes a voice becomes a a symbol for a program, e.g. David Attenborough: "David Attenborough has inspired generations to learn more about the natural world, bringing adventure and wonder, dinosaurs and polar bears, into the homes of millions of television viewers. The reassuring, hushed and reverential whisper has narrated every journey, as he surveys almost every aspect of life on earth. [...] Eventually moving in front of the camera, Attenborough’s face and voice gradually became synonymous with the BBC’s wildlife output."
Yet, like the weird, the eerie is also fundamentally to do with the outside[...]; What kind of thing was it that emitted such an eerie cry? [...] the eerie is fundamentally tied up with questions of agency. [...] if we are not who we think we are, what are we?
Flüstern (= whisper)
speaking in a toneless, low way.
To share a secret, to talk to oneself, to talk by night, in the library, because someone is ill.
Whispering is used by ASMR producers to create an intimate atmosphere.
Grain (= Rauschen in German)
"Das Sprechen ist unumkehrbar, dies ist sein Verhängnis. Das Gesagte läßt sich nicht zurücknehmen, außer durch Vermehrung[...]. Genauso wie die Funktionsstörungen der Sprache [...] in einem hörbaren Zeichen zusammengefaßt sind: dem Gestammel, genauso tritt das reibungslose Funktionieren der Maschine in einem musikalischen Wesen hervor: dem Rauschen."
""His (=Barthes')essay, in fact, is so fundamentally focused on Panzera that Philip Thody, the French literature expert who translated the French word grain not as ‘grain’ but as ‘texture’, also translated the title ‘Le grain de la voix’ as ‘The Texture of his Voice’"
Hall (= reverberation)
a reverb is not an echo, repeating the last words, sounds someone makes (=delay). A reverb indicates the space, room in which a person speaks or sings. It is especially popular in vocal production as it seems someone is in a broad large room. You can create spaces that almost cannot exist. Which might make sense that supernatural and inhuman creatures have some reverb on their voices. Or if someone is talking to oneself as --> inner voice.
"It is usually tied to a person's sense of self. It is particularly important in planning, problem solving, self-reflection, self-image, critical thinking, emotions, and subvocalization(reading in one's head). [...] It may reflect both conscious and subconscious beliefs"
It uses proximity, and sometimes even reverb as if it came from far away in the mind. A soliloquy for oneself. It is louder than the surroundings. Think of Norman Bates or Birdman. Sometimes it is a soliloquy like Hamlet's To be or not to be.
meaning artificial. Speaking machines seem futuristic, but there are bots and speech assistants and AI already in the tram, on the phone, on the internet. "There is an uncanniness in the gap which enables a machine [...] to produce something so uniquely human as a voice and speech."; "the ghost in the machine"; "and the secret of the thinking machine is itself thoughtless, just a mechanism emitting voice, but thereby producing the most human of effects, an effect of "interiority".
Lautsprecher, a loudspeaker
it directly is linked to the acousmêtre. A speaker is sort of the same as a microphone, just the other way around, which is similar to the human ear.
A loudspeaker is the denaturalization of a voice as there is no adequate body representing the voice. So, it seems interesting that Dr. Mabuse's voice coming from a loudspeaker in the Testament film is an intriguing trick for the protagonists, as well as for the audience. There is something weird about that.
"I try my speech and adjust how close I should be and how comfortable I can be speaking in front of this huge microphone apparatus. I do not want to appear too loud or too aggressive, but I also do not want to sound too remote, too wispy or weirdly distant. [...] I speak now, in this few minutes, exclusively for this microphone, with this microphone -- and for and with all the people connected to this."
Nahbesprechung (= close-up speech)
A voice is very close to the listener. The voice is kind of intimate, deep and warm. Like someone directly whispering into your ear. An effect for the microphone used a lot by singers, radio moderators or ASMR producers. It is also called "proximity effect".
"Oi Oí, Otototoi, Iu Iu, Iuah, Aiaí"
A technique to raise or lower the original pitch of a sound: "This can be done by replaying a sound waveform at a different speed than it was recorded."
It is used in Cartoons to create a distinctive character or voice, e.g. Alvin and the Chipmunks or the voice of Tweety, South Park, etc. It is used in music production to make a voice younger, unnaturally low or guttural or supernaturally perfect, e.g. in autotune productions, which seems to be introduced by singer Cher, who I never could identify as man or woman when I was a child.
"We talk, a tape recording is made, diligent secretaries listen to our words to refine, [...]. We have embalmed our speech like a mummy, to preserve it forever.
Because we really must last a bit longer than our voices; we must, through the comedy of writing, inscribe ourselves somewhere."
Schrei (= scream)
a sudden sound, loud, mouth wide open. It seems like the word Schrei/scream is paradigmatic for a painting and a movie. It is somehow a violent sound.
"scharfe Schreie, schrill tönende Klagen. [...] In ihnen wird ein affektives Potenzial substituiert, das sich nicht bändigen läßt und das unmittelbar in Schrecken, Schaudern, Angst, aber wohl auch Freude und Lust umschlägt: zu intensiv in der Wahrnehmung und gleichsam zu wenig signifikant für die Darstellung bzw. Artikulation."
very common sound effect: the low as well as the high frequencies are cut and the impression of a phone call is created. An electrified conversation with distant persons. An emotional phone call, a blackmail call, a murderer's call, a lover's call, etc.
grouped, a union, not an individual but an entity as you can listen to many and different voices, but not incomprehensible but clear, saying the same words at the same time / synchronicity, choir
Voice-over is added in addition to any existing dialogue. It is not to be confused with the process of replacing dialogue with a translated version, which is called dubbing or revoicing. [...] Fields for voice-overs are commercials, translation and as a device for characterization, creative approach, e.g. narrator's voice, educational and descriptive purpose, e.g. on the radio, film, documentary.
"The sense of wrongness associated with the weird - the conviction that this does not belong - is often a sign that we are in the presence of the new. [...] a weird entity or object is so strange that it makes us feel that it should not exist, or at least it should not exist here." People talking backwards, speaking with a strange voice, animals talking, etc.
Aggermann, Lorenz: Der offene Mund. Über ein zentrales Phänomen des Pathetischen. Theater der Zeit. Recherchen 102. Berlin, 2013.
Barthes, Roland: The Grain of the Voice. University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, 1991.
Barthes, Roland: Das Rauschen der Sprache. edition Suhrkamp. Frankfurt am Main, 2006.
Chion, Michel: The Voice in Cinema. Columbia University Press. New York, 1999.
Dunsby, Jonathan: Roland Barthes and the Grain of Panzéra's Voice, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 2009.
Fisher, Mark: The Weird and the Eerie. Repeater. London, 2017.
Schulze, Holger: The Sonic Persona, An Anthropology of Sound. Bloomsbury Academic. New York, London, 2018.
Commercial Voice Over Jobs. URL:
David Attenborough. Voice of Nature. URL:
Pitch shift. URL:
All Sounds are taken from YouTube for non-commercial use.
Künstlich: / / /
Pitch: / /