The word “barbarophonos” appears in Homer’s epic poem lliad when he needed to describe
those who spoke a non-Greek language or those of unintelligible speech. The origin of the
word comes from βάρβαρος, “barbarian”, meaning uncivilised and the word φώνος,
“phonos”, meaning voice.
The piece explores the meaning of the word by having the performer acting as three different
sound characters. The performer aims to bring out the three characters by using the three
microphones on stage. There is a sense of an ongoing conversation between the three by
changing or introducing different styles and sections from the score.
The performer controls the live electronics through the use of the foot pedal and switches while
using vibratory feedback to enhance the player’s control over the equipment. The improvised
middle section of the piece allows the performer to develop the characters further to speak out
a personal and an inner reflection of the piece.
Performer Ben Murray