LE PARLEUR / radiopiece, 52”

radiophonic composition for WDR3 (studio for acoustic arts) _ 2018

Commissioned by the studio of acoustic arts WDR3 / 2018
52”, stereo

Written for synthetic voices, sound within a bullet-proof glasspane, 2 solo voices (Johanna Baader & Agnes Hvizdalek) as well as the cloned voice of Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno

Date of first broadcast 23.03.2019


In 1731 Julien Offray de la Mettrie publishes  a medical-philosophical examination on the construction and functioning of the human organism under the programmatic Title l’homme machine. In it, he introduced the group of machine builders to the difficult task, to develop a machine or mechanics, which should have the ability to mimic the human voice. It was to build a mechanical speaker – a parleur.  The famous Mathematician Euler – in collaboration with Baron von Kempelen – actually created a talking machine capable of imitating some of the sounds of the human voice. This machine is still considered as the first basically functional construction for speech synthesis ever.

In our digital present, there is a lot to be said for the use of Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks. Meanwhile a variety of synthetically generated voices, ranging from low to high-end variants try to give our smart devices a touch of uniqueness, try to lend them some sort of humanity. Today, the cloning of voices is already an easy task for ambitious users. It is becoming virtually inflationary in a wide variety of areas, from industry, medicine to pop and even high-culture.

With the help of a Machine – Learning algorithm kutin | kindlinger have brought back to life a prominent but already silent voice of the past. This voice resounds within a compositionally formulated sound space. Phonetic fragments of the human speech apparatus build a fragile acoustic floor, which gradually develops into the sound of shattering displays, clinking and bursting glass. These later on collide with raw sonifications of our digital communication channels. The noise increases. The musically fractal character of the piece is a metaphor for the unpredictable dynamics of the digital age – for the dissension of our life reality and identity in Web 3.0 – a labyrinth opens up. Inside this fragile maze, the voice of the parleur forms a fixed point of reference. The fragmentary associative text was created on the basis of various quotations and references. The parleur – a clone of the voice Theodor Wiesengrund Adornos – reflects on this new role assigned to him, on his reappearing in this world and about which direction this will take: will the people turn more and more into machines or the machines more and more into humans ?

kutin | kindlinger undergo the technically innovative possibility of the Cloning of voices by a sonically critical reflection. Le Parleur is in between certain fields, both musically and philosophically, oscillating between resignation, anarchism and poetry.

composition, dramaturgy, arrangement and mix : kutin|kindlinger
research engineer : Markus Toman
2 additional audio-tracks were used :
AURORE by Peter Kutin / Agnes Hvizdalek
FF by Peter Kutin / Moritz Nahold

THX to Thomas Grill, Friedrich Neubarth & Christina Kubisch