composer, performer and sound designer

Sensitive Eileen

A new piece for live voice and a 39-speaker array, outside the newly pedestrianised section of The Strand, outside Somerset House, London.

March 2023

Contemporary voice and the sounds of 1920s radio take flight in this piece exploring resonances between early wireless and telepathy.

This live performance was for The VoiceLine, Nick Ryan’s 39-speaker array which in early 2023 stretched 170m along the newly pedestrianised section of The Strand, Aldwych, London. Inspired by the first BBC Radio transmitters, The VoiceLine was positioned by the old BBC Marconi House and St Mary Le Strand, newly peaceful since the removal of traffic.

Sarah Angliss’ original composition features singer Melanie Pappenheim as Sensitive Eileen – an occult figure from the 1920s. In the Harper’s story Out of the Air (1922) Eileen is found by a stricken radio tower, with arms flung wide and fingers spread like antennae, tuning into the harmonies of the ether. During the performance of this piece, Melanie duets live with sounds which skitter along the array, using Sarah’s bespoke spatialisation algorithms.

The VoiceLine launch was produced by Nick Ryan and Alannah Chance.

Sensitive Eileen, with her 'arms flung wide'

Sensitive Eileen

Sensitive Eileen figure as described in Haunted Media (Jeffrey Sconce, 2000)
Sarah composed the original piece and created multichannel software, using MaxMSP, to enable her to move sounds polyphonically along the street.
The VoiceLine by Nick Ryan

The VoiceLine by Nick Ryan, The Strand, Aldwych, London