The human voice is perhaps our most organically individual trait and the root of our personal expression. On his latest studio album, Music Made With Voices, acclaimed guitarist and composer Alexander Noice uses a single note sung by eight different people as the sole source material to create eight elaborate, fragmented, and beautiful sonic portraits that reflect our modern relationships seen through a digitized prism.
Known for his own groundbreaking ensembles, The Alexander Noice Sextet and Falsetto Teeth, and his work as a guitarist with artists such as Vinny Golia, Vincent Gallo, Dorian Wood, Wadada Leo Smith, and Daniel Rosenboom, Noice dives into fresh new territory as a composer and producer on Music Made With Voices (MMWV). Taking a single note sung by eight close friends, collaborators, and family, he employs an wide array of processes and techniques, composing intricate music that maintains the essence of each person’s voice, while constructing sophisticated arrangements and otherworldly timbres that highlight the unusual and beautiful inflexions of each person’s voice.
“This record began with recording a single note from eight different people, all of whom I have a close personal relationship with, ranging from fellow musicians, to my own dad. For each track, by way of pitch shifters and various other digital effects, I take the single note for each person and, in a mildly obsessive manner, chop, distort, and mold that original note into its own dense, elaborate sound world. The result is eight sonic portraits for eight unique people: Karina Kallas, Frank Noice, Masatoshi Sato, Ihui Wu, Dorian Wood, Argenta Walther, Charlyne Yi, and myself.” (Alexander Noice)
Aside from the challenge of working with such minimal source material, Noice’s innovative purpose is to symbolize the pure and organic aspect of each individual contributor, even though the end result sounds far removed from the original sung source. “In a certain way this parallels our modern relationships and interactions, both with communication, and the cherry-picking portrayal of our daily lives through texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc.,” Noice explains. “At times it’s hard to get a fully realistic, honest view of people when our relationships are so filtered through digital outlets. As a composer I use sound, and more specifically the human voice, as a catalyst to express my own views on the current realities of personal interaction, and the relationships we cultivate.”
MMWV presents eight poignant sound portraits, abstractly representing the organic essence of eight distinct people, their own unadulterated voices extensively re-contextualized and formatted into complex sonic arrays, and represents the very heart and scope of creative vision we cherish at Orenda Records.