Being away from home, I have regularly talked with my father over the phone. During this period, I have noticed a significant change in the sound of his voice which has become weaker and more faint and has caused me to reflect on the idea of mortality. The mortality of one’s own life and more importantly, the mortality of a parent. In this case, it is specifically about the relationship between a father and son through the male voice. Whether this father and son relationship is one that is strong for many years, for relationships that have ended much earlier during the son’s early childhood, or even relationships where the father was absent, the mortality of the father conjures feelings of sadness, despair, and confusion. In most cases, anger and self-hatred is the foundation to this entire experience. Trying to find some kind of comfort or piece of mind alone within this mental state is a task that seems daunting and without end.
This sound piece is an attempt to try to understand this seemingly difficult situation of mortality and the transition to a new existence for the father and the son. It is an audio collage that combines sounds from various historical and cultural sources to create an ambient piece about the male voice. For me, music and sound as always been something that I can turn to in finding peace and comfort in difficult situations throughout life and so in this case where I must deal with the mortality of my father, this sound piece is another residual product of my own experience. The piece combines audio from Tibetan throat singing, medieval Gregorian chant, and small isolated vocal snippets from various contemporary heavy metal musicians (I did not separate the instruments from the vocals but rather, I combed through and listened to my entire metal music collection for months to try and find moments when the vocalist is screaming, yelling, or growling during a break in the music). These samples were not only selected because they commonly associated with the male voice, but they all regularly reference themes of death, anger, and the sufferings of everyday life.
Click on the hyperlinked song titles below to hear the original sources.