Voices Part II — Distant Voices

Todor Todoroff

Voices Part II — Distant Voices

  • Todor Todoroff
  • Year of composition: 1999
  • Duration: 11:43
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T9006707433

Voices Part II: Distant Voices is a very personal work. It sometimes seems to me that one of the reasons I came to pursue electroacoustic music can be traced back to a childhood experience. Around the age of seven, I began to build small radios out of a handful of components. These radios did not include amplifiers and their weak signals could only be heard through a small, crystal earphone. I spent many hours listening closely to these radios in the silent night. As their selectivity was very approximate, I usually captured two or three radio stations simultaneously, often in foreign languages. The focus of my listening shifted alternately from one to the other, according to which words caught my attention.

I was fascinated by these unknown voices, far away and mysterious, but also by the coincidences which appeared from time to time between these signals, coming from transmitters likely situated thousands of kilometres apart. It was as if these voices, speaking different languages and not able to hear each other, were nonetheless replying to each other.

I wanted to recreate an imaginary sonic world which would evoke the sensation of infinite spaces, weightlessness, communication, familiarity and mystery which I felt at that time. It appeared obvious to include recordings of voices heard through telephones, which seemed the perfect metaphor for this paradoxical situation combining distance with proximity.

Space in this piece is illuminated by voices serving as points of light: points which appear, flicker, slip away, and fade out, like stars in a night which is rhythmically defined by the sound of beeps, peppered with high-pitched frequency glissandi, and modulated by slow variations of timbre and amplitude.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iv-18]

Voices Part II: Distant Voices was realized in 1999 at the studios of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France) and was premiered on June 13, 2000 in the context of the Synthèse festival in Bourges. It was commissioned by the IMEB. Thanks to Birgitte Odgaard Nielsen, whose voice is the main voice heard. In 2002, the piece was included on the CD Éclats, musique contemporaine (WBM 139).


  • June 13, 2000, Synthèse 2000: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)


Recording: Todor Todoroff: Matières; Todor Todoroff: Rupture d’équilibre; Todor Todoroff: Voices Part II — Distant Voices; Todor Todoroff; Friday, July 26, 2019