Backward Singing Performance at Struer Tracks

(…) The next performance by Eau Pernice was much clearer conceptually. Three singers were recorded singing for 25 minutes of what sounded like a mixture of vocal sounds and backwards words, the recording was then reversed and played back. The crowd laughed heartily when they recognised famous lyrics, but in fact the works’ conceptual worth became most apparent when it highlighted how the reverse transcription and playback has reshaped everything and rendered the language (now double reversed, so a sort of false positive) unintelligible, and centered on just how important pronunciation, accentuation, and melodic contours are for our understanding of language.

Mikkel Schou, Passive/Aggressive

While Eau Pernice’s Backward Singing Performance series initially indicate a traditional concert, the recognisability is lost when the three-part composition is sung in the opposite direction. At Struer Tracks, the audience had the opportunity to listen to live performances of reversed compositions. Immediately after that, a listening session followed where a recording of the concert was played in reverse. This revealed famous songs and the glitches that occur in the translation between forwards and reverse. The video only shows the reversed recording of the concert.

The Backward Singing Performance at Struer Tracks was performed by Maria Marstal, Amanda Appel and Anna Mæhl and was filmed by Marie Louise Taarnskov. The project was realized with funding from Danish Arts Foundation.

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