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Electronic Voice Phenomena Weekend Launch & Talks by Joe Banks and David Tompkins

Mercy and Liverpool Biennial 2012 present

Electronic Voice Phenomena Launch

Three solo performers who use the electronic interface to extend the voice, flatten the temporal plane and warp the lyric form, presenting new trajectories in cyborg speech.


Hannah Silva

GHOST RUNNING Dynamic sound-poetry performance layering and interweaving the stories of the great marathon runners from across history, with the sounds and rhythms of running including heartbeats, breath and pulse. Vocal play and electronic effect, history, legend and myth converge in a truly contemporary display of the virtuosic and conceptual.

"incredible vocal control and dexterity... her voice speeds up, the pace quickens, the athletes each sprint towards their goal; be that gold, Goddess or girl."

(originally A Humber Mouth Special Commission, funded by Hull City Council)

Anat Ben David

Founder-member of Chicks on Speed, vocalist, writer, performance and media artist performs in a 'installation' set-up from her latest spree of works she describes as 'Op-eRa-art': where disciplines and materials come together with ability to change or 'disturb' one another and generate new meanings. Totally unpredictable, technically ambitious and punk.

"A linguistic landslide, words weighted with meaning... one moment she's crooning like a gently demonic Nico... the next moment space and silence are tested by a barrage of hi-NRG drums and lunatic scalling vocals" PLAN B

Ross Sutherland One of the founding contributors and leading lights of Mercy!

STAND BY FOR TAPE BACK-UP. Ross has found an old videotape that used to belong to his Granddad. So far on the tape he has found: a bit of Robbie Coltrane in Tuttii Frutti, Tom Cruise in Cocktail, and an episode of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. Ross is exploring ways of remixing the material, transforming the footage into something that tells his life story - merging form and content in Ross's inimitably engaging style.

"Surprisingly affecting [...] The story arc of The Fresh Prince becomes a Dantean spin through the circles of heaven and hell with Sutherland using the images, which are now cultural wallpaper, as a starting point for grieving." - The Wire

Mercy and Liverpool Biennial 2012 present: Talks by David Tompkins and Joe Banks with Q+A

4-6PM at Camp and Furnace Blade Factory

FREE, Booking Required BOOK HERE

Continuing Mercy's investigation of Liverpool Biennial's theme of 'hospitality', these two vibrant, unforgettable 'performance lectures' look at the electronic noise as the host of para-psychological and hallucinatory message, and the vocoder as home to complex interactions between war, science, pop culture, and ghost story.


Based on the strange science of voice synthesis, How To Wreck A Nice Beach, traces the history of the vocoder from Churchill's bunker to Stalin's gulags, from "Autobahn" to Auto-Tune, from T-Mobile to T-Pain (the book's title comes from a mishearing of the vocodered phrase, 'How to recognize speech'). Along with the growing acclaim for his book on this subject, David is renowned world-wide for the generous and performative nature of his talks.

"Unquestionably brilliant, not only one of the best music books of the year, but also one of the best music books ever written." - Los Angeles Times

"A hallucinatory stew of Rimbaud, Tom Wolfe, Lester Bangs and Bootsy Collins." - New York Magazine


In this talk on 'creative listening', human perception and hallucination, Joe delivers a series of interactive examples, along with highly entertaining digressions linking Raymond Rousell, Da Vinci and wartime military intellegence. Part detective story, part artistic and cultural critique, Rorschach Audio lifts the lid on an array of fascinating and under-examined perceptual and political phenomena.

"Anyone who ever listened to The Police singing "So Lonely" and thought it was about BBC broadcaster Sue Lawley... has already struck off down a path towards creative expression, and in the warp and weft of these diverse and captivating threads, Banks attempts to find the locus for all manner of perceptual and psychological phenomena." - Freq

"a wonderfully argued, eccentric and impassioned interrogation of aural perception... incorporating an intimidating range of wonderfully niche anecdotes, experiments and eccentricities. From the wordplay of proto-surrealist author Raymond Roussel, to spectral technologies by American 'inventor' George Meek... Banks ... animates questions surrounding the interrelationship of sound, technology, perception and belief." - The Quietus

The Mercy artistic programme is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England GFA, and Liverpool City Council


05 October – 06 October 2012, 8pm - 11PM


67 Greenland Street
L1 0BY