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Focus Topic 2024: Voices

This year, vocal music has a special place at Detect: Our thematic focus is on "voices". We hear and understand voices not only in the context of musical expression. An insight into the dimensions of this year's theme...

With the Neue Kammerchor Berlin, Die Wilde Jagd, La Chica, Radio Hito, Perera Elsewhere and many more, you will discover a whole spectrum of voices from different musical traditions at Detect 2024: from the voice in pop and songwriting to singing in different languages and classical song.

We hear and understand voices not only in the context of musical expression. An insight into the dimensions of this year's theme...

The Voice as an Instrument of Tradition

The first musical instrument is the human voice. It is unique and as unmistakable as a fingerprint. But what makes it special is that it combines music and language. This is why songs have always served as instruments for telling stories, passing on knowledge and cultural practices and creating meaning. Voices and their musical traditions have found their place in everyday life in the form of children's songs or lullabies, ritual or religious chants, and workers' songs or art songs.

In popular music, too, voices have crossed oceans countless times, broken down language barriers, initiated discussions or simply entertained and expressed feelings.

La Chica – eine große Popstimme, Pianistin und Brückbauerin zwischen Frankreich und Venezuela kommt 2024 zu uns auf die Bühne.
A woman in white clothing and background, eyes closed, sits before a collection of statues, some of which look like hands.

The Electronic Voice

In electronic music, too, the singing voice has played a key role in the development and spread of the genre from the very beginning. But even when it comes to the sound itself, the human voice has played an important role in its development. Not only string and wind instruments originate from the vocal tradition, as sound production is based on the vocal chords, which are set in vibration by air pressure and thus produce the sound. Even synthesizers are inspired by the voice: the Formant Synthesis imitates vocal sounds.

However, voices are not only individual but collective precisely because of their expressive possibilities: they represent the rich diversity of cultures. And as collective voices, they shape social life.

Protest Songs, Chants, Anthems

Voices have long served as catalysts for social change, conveying messages of protest, unity and empowerment. This year's festival will explore the social dimension of voices through panels and program items. Who is raising their voice and against whom? How loud do marginalized voices need to be to be heard? Our non-music program will be released a little later, but you can look forward to some interesting program items.

Powerful voices

Voices are naturally connected to digital life everywhere. We no longer have to be in the same room to hear each other. The festival therefore also explores voices in the field of amplification, transmission and distortion. Electronic music, microphoned voices and experimental soundscapes will take centre stage, pushing the boundaries of traditional notions of voice.

We are particularly pleased that the Eigenklang collective will be taking part again this year and creating its own interactive space. There, musicians and amateurs alike are invited to create a shared sound space.

And so the fifth edition of the Detect Classic Festival celebrates the rich diversity of human voices and their cultural, social and technological dimensions. We invite you to explore with us how voices shape our world.