Since her early releases on RVNG Intl and Infinite Greyscale, Holly Herndon has been exploring the outer limits of electronic music and Avant-Garde pop, creating an otherworldly universe that is distinctly her own.
Her fascination with the human voice, has always been at the centre of her work, using it as a sonic instrument to be chopped and screwed, dissecting it on the surgery table, isolating all the sonic details and restitching it back together to create something from a parallel universe.
Following on from her incredible album on Platform on 4AD, this exploration of the human voice really takes centre stage in PROTO, where she has constructed a collaborative space for an ensemble of vocalists, a team of developers along with her longtime collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and an inhuman intelligence Spawn—a nascent A.I. entity housed in a gaming PC. Coming together, they have constructed a record of live vocal processing, that traverses the rich history of folk singing, alongside a communion between humans and technology, creating a record that embraces the alchemy between man and machine.
“There’s a pervasive narrative of technology as dehumanizing,” says Holly. “We stand in contrast to that. It’s not like we want to run away; we’re very much running towards it, but on our terms. Choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty ”