Singing the Body Electric: The Human Voice and Sound Technology

9780754669869My book is out now! Singing the Body Electric: The Human Voice and Sound Technology

Singing the Body Electric explores the relationship between the human voice and technology, offering startling insights into the ways in which technological mediation affects our understanding of the voice, and more generally, the human body. From the phonautograph to magnetic tape and now to digital sampling, Miriama Young visits particular musical and literary works that define a century-and-a-half of recorded sound. She discusses the way in which the human voice is captured, transformed or synthesised through technology. This includes the sampled voice, the mechanical voice, the technologically modified voice, the pliable voice of the digital era, and the phenomenon by which humans mimic the sounding traits of the machine.


The book draws from key electro-vocal works spanning a range of genres – from Luciano Berio’s Thema: Omaggio a Joyce to Radiohead, from Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room, to Björk, and from Pierre Henry’s Variations on a Door and a Sigh to Christian Marclay’s Maria Callas. In essence, this book transcends time and musical style to reflect on the way in which the machine transforms our experience of the voice. The chapters are interpolated by conversations with five composers who work creatively with the voice and technology: Trevor Wishart, Katharine Norman, Paul Lansky, Eduardo Miranda and Bora Yoon. This book is an interdisciplinary enterprise that combines music aesthetics and musical analysis with literature and philosophy.

Speechless – The Polar Realm

Speechless – The Polar Realm , a spectacular feature film by Richard Sidey (with my music) is rolling out at festivals everywhere.

Screenings are here.

The score is performed by the illustrious Mirabai Peart and Ryan Francesconi, among others.

“Powerful visuals and a compelling score. Truly does leave us Speechless.” – Paul Nicklen | National Geographic

“A true inspiration to love and respect Earth’s last great wilderness.” – Robert Swan | 2041

“A beautiful nature film that is, and literally will leave you, speechless.” – Anna Tokareva | Concrete Playground

Solstice Lamp

A short documentary and showcase of our Interactive sound and light project, Solstice Lamp for Vivid Sydney 2013

Great working with you, Digital Pulse and Amplify Festival!

Newsflash: This animation is a finalist in the Titles and Openers category of the Australian Effects and Animation Awards 2013!

Vivid Sydney 2013

Solstice LAMP, our new interactive piece for AMP Building is part of Vivid Sydney 2013.

Visitors to the AMP forecourt at Circular Quay will be bathed in blue light and immersive sound that responds interactively to the speed of their movement. Their unique sonic and visual creation will generate the animations and sounds that will travel up the building façade, eventually transforming into origami cranes, all accompanied by a generative musical score.


Inner is a music & film collaboration between filmmaker Richard Sidey and musician Miriama Young. Filming took place on the dynamic islands of Iceland & New Zealand in late 2011.

Richard Sidey, an independent filmmaker, professional nature photographer and media designer is based in Wanaka, New Zealand.
His recent work includes an award-winning thirty-minute experimental triptych film of the polar regions, Landscapes at the World’s Ends, and innovative music videos for Hana Fahy and Hazel Boot, the latter constructed entirely with a pinhole camera.
Official Website |

Video : Richard Sidey
Composition, Vocals & Harmonium : Miriama Young
Percussion : Chuck Staab
Guitar : Mark Dancigers
Bass : Ken Pendergast
Recorded by Alex Kass
Mastered by Marlan Barry and Damon Whittemore at ValveTone Studios.

With thanks
The Carnegie Trust
Hamish Aubrey

All material © 2011 Richard Sidey & Miriama Young. All rights reserved.