Ute Wassermann

Expanding Your Voice

“We will enjoy the challenge of questioning our blind spots through improvisation, exploration, and experimentation.”

Ute Wassermann is a German voice artist, composer, performer, and improvisor. She grew up by the Baltic Sea in an artistic–scientific milieu that brought her into contact with environmentally relevant topics. At the core of Wassermann’s research is an ongoing and uncompromising exploration of her voice. Her singing style transcends the traditional usage of the human voice, resulting in multidimensional sculptural sounds that oscillate between electronic, animalistic, inorganic, and human qualities. Wassermann takes this to the extreme by creating a visceral sound-space through the use of different types of microphones. 

In her 2015 solo album strange songs for voice and birdcalls (TREADER, UK), for example, she embodies a hybrid vocal persona with swirling, trilling, screeching, sighing, breathing, and vocalizing tone-colors. She extends and renders the voice alien by including the use of bird whistles, lo-fi electronics, resonators, field recordings, and everyday objects. Wassermann’s performances create imaginary acoustic habitats in which her chameleon-like voice enters into a collaboration with the voices of other-than-humans as well as sounding from raw materials and objects. “I use my voice as a medium for discovery,” she says.

 

Video still from Ute Wassermann, mutual dependencies. Composed for vocal ensemble maulwerker.
voXsynth concert series. Photo: Cristina Marx/Photomusix
Plankton, Acker Stadt Palast, Berlin. Photo: Cristina Marx/Photomusix

Ute Wassermann tours internationally as an improviser and performer of contemporary music. She has premiered numerous compositions written especially for her voice with ensembles and orchestras. In the last decade, she has been increasingly realizing audiovisual voice performances, installations, and compositions for soloists and ensembles. She has received commissions by Ryogoku Art Festival, Japan; WDR; The University of Amsterdam; Poetica Sonora / Fonoteca Nacional, Mexico City; Transart Festival, Bolzano; vocal ensemble maulwerker, Berlin; Distractfold Ensemble, Huddersfield; Ruhrtriennale, Bochum; MaerzMusik, Berlin; Villa Aurora, Los Angeles; and Casa de Lago UNAM, Mexico City. 

As a mentor, Wassermann is seeking creative practitioners from various disciplines who approach work with an “open and curious mind, and with a strong interest in the world within and around us. I am looking for candidates who want to question the binary of the human and other-than-human world, of the self and the environment.”

“As we develop the project, we will enjoy the challenge of questioning our blind spots through improvisation, exploration, and experimentation. I believe in the transformative power of accidents,” she says.

Watch Ute Wassermann’s video statement: