I'll Walk Your Voice
I wish to Walk Your Voice in a Moscow forest.
Now that most of us have to acclimatize to the 'lockdown' or 'quarantine' or '(self)isolation' (this, whatever this is, comes under different names coupled with different regulations), we feel disconnected from the environments that used to shape up our existence. For many people the 'outside' (again, defined differently under various legal regimes) has become a paradoxical blend of the 'social' and the 'antisocial,' a lure, a hazard, an archetypical siren that enthralls and repels at the same time. According to multiple news reports, some of us — failing to withstand the siren's call — took to borrowing other people's dogs and walking them. But what if instead of walking someone else's pet — you could ask someone else to walk a piece of you?

This is what I'll Walk Your Voice is about. Send me a sample of your voice — this can be a short story, a few unimaginative phrases, a drawn-out grunt, a recording of you singing, or anything else your voice can do. I'll take it to a large park in Moscow, play it against the soundscape, and send the recording back to you. I'll be using high quality mono speakers and a ZOOM H6 recorder to make sure that the recording is clean and realistic. Depending on how many people wish to participate (the more the better), I might also produce more complex mixes or even make it into an installation.

Long story short, I wish to Walk Your Voice in a Moscow forest.

Now for some details:
  • Your piece should not exceed 2 minutes.
  • You can record in any format you like, but a clean .wav recording is preferable.
  • The forest is very near where I live and I'll be there alone, so I won't be jeopardizing other people's well-being.
  • Given the current circumstances, the time frame of the project is uncertain. I am ready to produce recordings as soon as the first samples arrive. I also expect the majority of contributions to come in before May 10, and send out mixes after May 20.
  • If I decide to use or refer to your samples publicly, I will ask for your consent.
  • I promise (although this is hard to guarantee) to pay attention exclusively to the sonic features of your samples, and not to their content.
  • On the other hand, I encourage you to think of what kind of message you'd like to voice in the middle of a forest.
Let me walk your voice, and please share this with other people who might be interested.
To submit your sample please go to the Google form.
Walking your voices is a challenge, an inspiration, and a catalyst for what might come next. Here we'll keep track of what we do, how it makes us feel, and where it is taking us.
We do not appreciate mumbling. In normative spaces like the recording studio or the school, mumbling is prohibited. We act on the assumption that all speech must be clear, articulate and easy to understand like the modern alphabets: people complain about the English spelling — or the Danish spelling— or the Bengali spelling. These are accused of being too complicated, not representing sound properly, and therefore not representing meaning properly. Most of the ancient scripts are a kind of visual mumbling.
Any foreign language is mumbling, its meanings and its sound are unclear to us. Anything new comes to us as a mumble first.
The Universe, the ultimate foreign language, is mumbling. It is hard to understand what she's saying. It's as if her inside voice is very clear — originally — but having gone through the convolutions of her nervous system, her larynx, her throat, her many mouths, and her many lips — her message gets distorted, phased out, mumble-like.
I'm listening to your mumble, you're like a universe to me.

Andrey Logutov
The very procedure of recording in the woods — setting your mic to the max sensitivity and lingering near it — motionless — while a voice sample is playing — makes you realize — physically — and emotionally — what a precious, fragile, handle-with-care type of thing another person's voice is. It doesn't seem like much — at first. But then, a sudden realization strikes you — that even under the 'normal' circumstances — the voice would be the only thing that you could hope to receive from most people — the only keepsake. The gift, the souvenir, the pledge.

Andrey Logutov
Meet our team
Andrey Logutov, PhD
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Head of Sound Anthropology Seminar

Mila Razgulina, PhD
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Sound Anthropology Seminar
Nastia Galeeva
Higher School of Economics
Media Support
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