Review: Biliana Voutchkova – Seeds Of Songs


“It is the first time that I create a completely new composition by imagining and collaging together various unrelated sounds” states Biliana Voutchkova. Created primarily in the latter months of 2020, Seeds Of Songs can indeed feel like an erratic assemblage of fidgeting vocalisation, distant echoes, tinkling glass, hybridised spaces and scraped violin. Yet coherence arises from how Voutchkova arranges these sounds upon time, threading them together with filmmaker’s sense of rhythm and narrative, ultimately resembling that very familiar paradox of pandemic remembering: eclectic experiences rendered within a basin of monotony, with the divergent sensations of separate days collapsing into the sameness of lockdown.

Voutchkova speaks of how she lost the desire to produce new work in the first few months of the pandemic, instead learning how to listen with deeper intensity. The record is a duet between the inclinations to speak and to hear, with voice and violin offering conduits for the former, and the sounds of external entities (objects, places, microphone fidelities) prompting the role of listener to take precedence. Her vocalisations expel feelings that might have otherwise be released during social interaction; a wordless spill of contradictory innards via restless hums and breaths, offering a means of emptying a body that brims with energy unspent. Yet during moments where both violin and voice are absent, one can hear Voutchkova re-centring amidst her surroundings and the noises of everyday textures. For half an hour she alternates the need to express with the need to rebalance: a pendulumic swing against a backdrop of stopped clocks.

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