Doctoral research project

”Monsters I Love: On Multivocal Arts” by Alex Nowitz

Alex Nowitz is a Doctoral Candidate at the University College of Opera since 1 September 2014.

Here is the presentation of his project Monster I Love: On Multivocal Arts on the Research Catalogue.

Voice paradigms

The situation of vocal art practices within Western music cultures today effectively involves four voice paradigms: the operatic or singing voice, the actor’s speaking voice, the extended voice either expanded through the application of so-called extended vocal techniques or through technological means, and finally the disembodied voice.


The aim of this artistic research project is to find strategies for how to extend the voice paradigms by working on their intersections. The multivocal voice is an aesthetic concept that fosters an integrative approach to vocal performance practices rather than excluding one or the other from the scope of the above mentioned voice categories. At the same time, the performer is to be stimulated by the negative affordance of ‘not repeating the past’. The notion of multivocality therefore indicates various modes of new kinds of virtuosity, all of which are informed by an artistic knowledge that is multi-faceted regarding its methods, be it experimental or experiential, technical or technological, improvisational or compositional. In regards to the title of the project, the performance practice of the multivocal practitioner does not just extend the discipline of vocal arts as such, but also goes beyond that by integrating and merging with other forms of expressions including sound art and bodily practices.

For both the vocal performer and the composer, the main challenges concern how to implement these attempts within the actual artistic practice and, along the way, how to unveil the findings and to convey prerequisites and principles by taking into account the underlying philosophical and socio-cultural implications. The focus of the project is research in and through artistic practice, as well as research in design, i.e. the development and the exploration of applying live electronics, all of which are informed by the question of how to create a coherent and compelling performance art form today.