Kerrith Livengood - This Is My Scary Robot Voice

Workshop performance video

In my string quartet This Is My Scary Robot Voice players “incant” the rhythms of different sentences, as though speaking them aloud. These sentences are all personal mantras – things I tell myself as a small, soft-spoken woman, especially when I’m in a crowd or a group of strangers where often I tend to be very reserved. To overcome my shyness, I force myself to imagine that my voice is very loud and that I am very tall, so that everyone in the room can’t help but hear me and see me. This does help me stand taller and speak louder, but sometimes the results are rather unnatural-sounding; hence the “scary robot voice” that sometimes emerges. This Is My Scary Robot Voice was premiered by the Argus Quartet at the New Music On the Point Festival, in June 2016.

This is my normal voice
This is my scary robot voice
Everybody can hear me
I am a tower thousands of feet tall
Everybody can see me
Everybody for miles can see me
Everything is fine
I am fine

Composer: Kerrith Livengood

Composer photo
Photo of Kerrith Livengood

Kerrith Livengood’s music features complex grooves, lyricism, noise, and humor. She has composed works for the JACK Quartet, Third Angle Ensemble, Duo Cortona, Altered Sound Duo, Albatross Duo, soprano Amy Petrongelli, saxophonist Nathan Mandel, and the h2 Quartet. She is also a flutist, drummer, and improviser, who has performed many collaborative and experimental works with many different groups. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and currently teaches music theory at the University of Illinois. She is also Assistant Director of New Music On The Point and co-founder of the Music in Bloom Festival.