Human Amplifier (Sound performance, 2018-19)
Human Amplifier has been shown in Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin (Germany) and Aarhus (Denmark) and has been “translated" as a sound piece and published on vinyl by the Berlin-based label "Research and waves": "The music stops and now... what's that”.
In her latest series of work Louise Vind Nielsen lets humans take over the roles of machines and thereby embody musical instruments. The sound-performance “Human Amplifier” gives us an insight into how we listen and perceive sound by letting four human beings act as living loudspeakers for her live concerts.
Four performers are exposed to a live electronic musical composition by Louise Vind Nielsen. They are listening to analog synthesizer music and abstract sounds via headphones. Their task is to imitate or describe what they hear instantly and intuitively using voice and language only. They should do this independently from one another. The audience thereby hear four different vocal interpretations of the same live concert melting into one single vocal composition.
"Human Amplifier" gives us a dubious insight into how we listen, perceive, understand and transmit the sounds we hear. “Dubious” in this case pointing towards the impossibility of a universal, objective and transparent understanding of the process of listening. In her essay “Aural intimacy” Salome Voegelin speaks of “sonic doubt” and Pauline Oliveros states that “listening is very close to what we call consciousness”. As with the human voice and language, the process of listening can’t seem to escape the “pollution” of the unconscious.
RAW[0.4,y,0.75] Transparencies by Various Artists
The piece “tickles” the spots in which language plays tricks on us and where the boundaries of the human voice starts restraining expression rather than conveying it. It shows the impossibility of humans doing the same job as a machine (the loudspeakers), but in the process of trying to act a machine something complete new and unexpected is born.