22 Mar 2024

The Disembodied Voice

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Prem Sahib and Felicia Atkinson consider the voices that speak on our behalf.

What does it mean to use the voice of others within a performance, text or recording? In this episode, we look at the ways in which the voice is used both in service of power, and as a way of reclaiming agency.

Prem Sahib’s new sound performance for Assembly, Alleus, takes a speech by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and renders it into a new form through layers of processing and repetition, suggesting the idea of a curse or malediction. Resisting the idea that one hostile voice can speak for the many, Prem explores how political rhetoric can speak on behalf of others, and take possession of bodies at a distance.

Composer and sound artist Felicia Atkinson, who has composed the sound across the podcast series, considers the boundaries between thought and speech, looking at how recorded speech and text can intertwine. Felicia’s work with voice plays with space, distance and found sound, inviting the everyday into her recordings. In this episode, she discusses the role the voice plays within her work, the writers who live within her and how the recorded voice can be slippery and shapeshifting.


Podcast commissioned by:
Somerset House Studios

Alannah Chance

Eleanor Ritter-Scott

Series Composer:
Felicia Atkinson

Harry Murdoch

Alleus by Prem Sahib was co-commissioned and presented by the Roberts Institute of Art and Somerset House Studios as part of Assembly, 2024.

Supported by

PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, John S Cohen Foundation, Kitmapper, The Wire Magazine and Goethe Institute London.

Not Strictly Speaking Series

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A three-part podcast series exploring different manifestations of the voice, produced in conjunction with Somerset House Studios' Assembly.