Index is a 47 minutes piece that explores the sonic possibilities of the human voice beyond the limits of the yet known. It can be seen as an abstract of Agnes Hvizdalek’s 10 year-long experimental music practice and systematic research. With its high sense of form and structure it can be read as a book of references to contemporary and electronic music as well as a kind of meta-alphabetical catalogue of verbal communication’s smallest building bricks: a list of content, or depending on the point of view, a blacklist.
The piece is recorded at the bottom of a 60 meter high chimney of the ancient factory “Casa das Caldeiras” in the heart of the city with the world’s largest helicopter fleet, in São Paulo during a residency July 2016. Documenting a unique moment in time and space, through her voice we follow Agnes Hvizdalek on a consequent path from intimate breaths and clicks to powerful echoing overtones and multiphonics. The lonesome voice is confronted and melded together with the macro-soundscape of city noises and other background sounds such as construction workers’ radios, ambient activity within the factory, and helicopters flying overhead; reminding us of the thin line between the public and private.
The title Index emerged from a profound dialogue with typographer and graphic designer of the cover, Ellmer Stefan, who has taken careful considerations of all aspects of Agnes Hvizdalek’s music, its origin, the time and space where it developed and where it’s going, semiotic references, potential connotations and iconography. The imprint of Agnes Hvizdalek’s index finger points out the thin line we walk between privacy and publicness and becomes a brutal yet friendly symbol of our time.