Barbara Ellison - Cybersongs
2021 album by artist/composer Barbara Ellison, described as a transhuman song cycle for human-like computer voices. With this work Ellison delves into the sonic intricacies of voice avatars and the ‘musicalisation’ of TTS (Text-to-Speech), a type of speech synthesis application that is used to create a spoken sound version of raw text in a computer document. In the 13 tracks on this album she creates hypnotic textures of vocal utterances through the intensive and extensive use of repetition as tools and materials to give rise to surprising audible phenomena of a fascinating and odd musicality.
Words, morphemes, phonemes, phrases and speech particles acquire constantly-shifting new aural meanings. Unlimited by the speed of articulation these ‘beyond human’ voices, in a range of different languages, feature and embrace glitches and artifacts that are a result of a process of pushing the limits of the technology. These voices are finally set within an electronic sound environment, with references to real-world instruments, that can be described as having an off-kilter jazz or pop aesthetic.