Vocal Flame is fiery sound sculpture using a Ruben's Tube, an acoustic device which visualizes sound as a standing wave of small flames. The soundtrack that animates the flickering flames features a histrionic voice-over, exploring the various embodiments of ventriloquized voices in popular culture, particularly the female voice in film. The voiceover conjures narratives of a biblical burning bush, a self-consuming flame alphabet, the moulded vocal training of My Fair Lady and the acousmatic notion of a voice without source, hidden behind a veil or curtain.
Devised and scripted by Aura Satz, voiceover performed by vocalist Jennifer Walshe (milker.org) and music composed by musician, composer, and founding Siouxie and the Banshees member Steven Severin (stevenseverin.com/). Commissioned by RADAR, contemporary arts programme, Loughborough University Music Centre, 2012, where it was first shown. Vocal Flame was also presented at Cabinet Magazine's space in New York in 2012.