Tom Williams
Voice (A Retracing) (2008)

Voice (A Retracing) (2008)

Video for Voice (a retracing):

Vida Midgelow created ‘TRACE: playing with/out memory’ (with sonic score by Tom Williams and video by Tim Halliday), ‘TRACE: Improvisation in a box’ and most recently the video ‘VOICE (a re-tracing)’. This latest work brings together and develops a series of danced scores (filmed and edited by Tim Halliday as part of ‘Trace: Playing with/out memory’) and a new sound work – ‘VOICE’ – created by Tom Williams (which in itself is already a development of the sound created for ‘Playing’ which used recordings of Vida’s voice as she reads from letters written to her movement practice). This new sound/video work seeks to bring improvisation to the screen, revealing the experience of improvisation.

Music notes:
Voice gives voice to the utterances of a diffused and disparate voice: “listen.. there is nothing… but wait… dear dancer/ dear practice” – “Shifting, sliding, tracing routes, finding pathways” in an effluence of articulations, where fragments of words and ideas tumble, stumble forth.

The composition of Voice is an acousmatic interrogation of the sonic material that was generated when working on the multimedia dance work, Trace. The piece uses the voice of the dancer Vida Midgelow (with no other sound source) reading her imaginary letters between two interior voices – Dancer and Practice. Voice explores semantic resonances and their qualities of onomatopoeia within the spoken text as well as its complex unfolding into an abstract electroacoustic music discourse where words, sonic space, soundscapes and musical processes collide.

Video notes:
VOICE (a re-tracing)
Qualities of live movement are visually re-articulated through the use of moving image and sound. Focusing on notions of memory, (dis)appearance, nomadism and pleasure the video material seeks to capture ‘in the moment’ acts of dancing by movement performer Vida Midgelow, revealing the experiential and embodied nature of solo dance improvisation.

Video editing and performance by Dr. Vida Midgelow (with Tim Halliday)

Published in Journal for Artistic Research:
Voice (a retracing) is a video/sound work which seeks to capture and articulate the dancer’s inner experience of movement improvisation. In doing so, this work layers and distorts video images and uses the dancer’s spoken voice as the basis for an acousmatic composition. In this exposition Tom Williams (composer) and Vida L Midgelow (dancer and videographer) discuss a creative lexicon emerging from their collaborative processes making this work. Through these conversations they reveal conceptual, contextual and methodological ideas, illuminating their creative practices.

V isit JAR or see full article here.


  1. CMC2008 (International Computer Music Conference), Queens University, Belfast. Voice only, Aug ‘08
  2. Electronic Music Midwest Festival, Oct. 08, Illinois
  3. Univ Central Missouri New Music Concert 3.5.09
  4. Picturedrome Northampton 25.3.09
  5. Soc. Dance History conference, Stanford Uni, CA, June 10th, 2009
  6. ACMA Brisbane 3.7.09
  7. Futura Fest., France Aug 22 09
  8. Performed at RAFLOST 2011 Icelandic Festival of Electronic Arts, May 6th 2011
  9. Noisefloor Festival, Staffordshire University, May 2nd, 2013,  (video projected + invited paper on piece given)
  10. BBC Big Screen, in the cites of Derby, Leicester and Birmingham (2010-11)
  11. Noisefloor2013 (evening programme), May 2nd, 2013
  12.  Seensound, Melbourne, Australia, October, 9th, 2013.