This playlist follows on from Louise Manifold’s own playlist, and is inspired by her themes of humanity, the body, the wonder that is the human voice, and robotic technology.
The automatons of her film might not be exactly robots but are not far off. The writer, the draftswoman and the musician are impeccable clockwork dolls made 250 years ago and still running. Each automaton has its own full-time minder and can be visited in Switzerland or seen here in Manifold’s film. In Air Looms the dolls appear to be in the process of being taught to sing, or to vocalise, by Elizabeth Hilliard.
The songs in this selection are from artists with particularly distinctives voices, from Bjork to Tom Waits, Antony and the Johnsons to Patti Smith. The body is serenaded by Kate Nash, Kate Tempest, and the theme of robotics and clockwork is expanded on by the Prodigy, Flight of the Conchords and The Beastie Boys. The Rocky Horror Show, Carmina Burana and The Tiger Lillies also contribute to an appreciation of the human voice. An eclectic mix for human ears.