Project

One Voices

Photo: Knut Bry

Welcome into a sonic world created by one single unprocessed voice.
Welcome to a sonic world created in real time.
Welcome to enter a variety of auditive spaces.
Welcome to a vocal orchestra.
Welcome to a vocal symphony.
I Welcome you to create your own stories while hearing the music.

Oslo September 2023
Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer

About the choice of structure of One Voices

The project is composed as one piece consisting of five distinct sonic environments or sound sculptures, each varying in duration. Between these rooms are short passages lasting approximately one minute. These transitional moments serve as a mental reset, allowing the listener to release their connection to the preceding sound and open their minds to a new auditory experience or mental state. The musical material in these short passages are mostly different colours of white noise.

The composition is anchored by the introductory piece “Entrance” and the concluding piece “Aftermath.” The structural inspiration of this work is drawn from the Tibetan book of the dead, where the transmission between unclarity – clarity is central- in every stage of being.

Three of the works are commissioned works from different institutions:

About the materiality

I am in pursuit of a vocal and tactile sound language, one that unveils new sonic realms when various forms of orchestrated vocalization come together in unexpected harmony.

Over the years and through thousands of hours of exploring the possibilities of the human voice, I have delved into the intricate world of vocal expression, discovering a rich palette of voice colors. From the barely audible palate mouth clicks to voice based white noise. From resonant, full-toned sounds to the delicate breathy textures that tether us to the essence of life itself, like the thread of existence. I’ve explored simple melodic forms and ventured into the realm of soundscapes woven together through vocal multiphonics.

The work is non-verbal and will have its foundation in the sounds own narrative power. The sounds are created in different parts of the body: some created in the oral cavity, some in the throat, many of them with overtones- and all techniques are tightly intertwined with breath control and body awareness. The music is filtered through numbers of stylistic expressions of various genres that range from classical tradition, selected ethnic traditions -including throat singing, multiphonics and pure noise music.

About technical choices

To keep the richness of the frequencies in the voice I have chosen the microphone DPA 4018A with a super cardioid directional pattern, which offers a linear characteristic from the bottom to the top and images the entire frequency spectrum linearly.

The recordings are made in two locations of different acoustic: The Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum, a room with 20 seconds reverb, and CasaBlancaStudios- my garden studio, a relatively dry room.

About the listener

The project seeks a sonic world where the sounds become an extension of the listener’s body. The work is designed to be a collaboration with the listener, inviting them to actively engage and participate rather than passively consume. In my compositions, I often choose to omit words, encouraging the listener to become a producer and co-creator of the experience. This approach is intended to stimulate inner engagement within the recipient, allowing their own associations and inner narratives to become the true completion of the work.

When I talked about the principles of this production with the photographer Knut Bry, he exclaimed “Ah, you mean an AAI product?” “What?” I responded, “Yes, an Anti-Artificial Intelligence product” he replied. And we both laughed.

Photos

All photos by Knut bry.

Video "Elegie"

YouTube video

Location: Hovedøya, Oslo. Mirror sculptures by Tor Hvamen. Music by Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer / composer and performer. Company: SIMAX. Video by Bethany Forseth-Reiberg.

Video "Trinity"

YouTube video

Location and recordings at Vigelandsmausoleet, Oslo. Music by Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer / composer and performer. Company: SIMAX. Video by Bethany Forseth-Reiberg.

Video "Reflections"

YouTube video

Location: Hovedøya, Oslo. Mirror sculptures by Tor Hvamen. Music by Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer / composer and performer. Company: SIMAX. Video by Bethany Forseth-Reiberg.

Video "We"

YouTube video

Location: Hovedøya, Oslo. Music by Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer / composer and performer. Company: SIMAX. Video by Bethany Forseth-Reiberg.

Thanks:

To all my dear colleagues from very different genres, traditions, and countries, who all have contributed to my vocal expanding journey and capacity, and who have pushed me to go further in the explorations.

To my parents who let me experience my childhood in Vinje / Telemark with rich impulses of music and art.

For VoxLAB, for being a platform for work in progress for several of these works.

For those who have directly contributed to the creation or the pre-production phases of this music: Julian Skar, Natasha Barrett, Kristin Norderval, Bjørnar Hopland, Nils Henrik Asheim, Tor Hvamen, Inger Johanne Rasmussen, Alf Christian Hvidsteen, The Norwegian Soloists Choir; Grete Pedersen, TRALL app: Elisabeth Anvik, Liv Kristin Holmberg, Lasse P Nøsted, Tone Carlsen and to the GRAPPA team.

To all listeners throughout the making of this music: with a special thanks to Jørn Simen Øverli, Zakarias Meyer Øverli, Sara Aurora Meyer Øverli, Gjertrud Meyer, Gustav Askhaven, Ole Hieronimus Meyer, Anna Iurinova, Mads Strømme, Magnus Staveland, Bethany Forseth Reichberg.

I am profoundly grateful to the producer, Steffen Schorn, who, throughout the entire process of creating and realizing this production, has been my closest confidant, technician, and source of inspiration. His intuitive approach, sensitivity, enthusiasm, and technical expertise have been invaluable.

And not at least to the nature who give me new input daily, and who is my real teacher for immersive sound, and for the source for the life of us all.

About Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer

Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer is a distinctive voice artist, multi-vocalist, and composer who harnesses the power of her voice as a musical instrument, crafting diverse sonic landscapes through a rich tapestry of vocal timbres and expressions. Her remarkable vocal range spans approximately 7 octaves, allowing her to traverse a wide spectrum of tonal colors and emotional depth.

Her genre-defying approach to music has made her a sought-after talent for concerts, theatrical productions, film scores, sound installations, and recording projects around the globe. Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer collaborates seamlessly with musicians and composers spanning a vast array of genres, from intimate solo and duo performances to triumphant collaborations with full orchestras.

Through her multifaceted vocal expression, she conjures auditory realms that range from the familiar to the surreal, the anticipated to the unexpected. By transcending the confines of language, she allows the pure essence of sound to take center stage as the narrator of her compositions.

Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer is the recipient of a prestigious 10-year grant from Arts and Culture Norway and holds a master’s degree from the Grieg Academy in Bergen, complemented by studies at Mozarteum in Salzburg.