Thea Soti – MULTISKINNED [Exiles]

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Thea Soti is an artist with a great fascination for the human voice. The recording and further processing of different vocal registers are always present in this producer who has recently started in electronic music and sound art, but has a strong academic background in classical music, jazz and contemporary improvised music.

Her new release is a multi-dimensional, alien-baroque visual statement to the futuristic, vocal-dense electronic track of MULTISKINNED. Originally composed for the compilation “Sirens” by Budapest-based label EXILES, the music is produced exclusively using the artist´s own voice, being constantly recycled, digitally manipulated, twisted and distorted. Soti is interested in testing out the limits of where human ends and begins. And so does the music video, when displaying a half-human and half–avatar, half-body and half-sculpture creature. Tripping between unsettling aesthetics and characters, like enchanting siren, computer-generated avatar, post-human queen or a genderless alien, we are watching an otherwordly performance video, elegantly re-drawing female stereotypes. Shot in Paris at the beginning of 2021, this is a collaboration with filmmaker Youssef Chebbi, art director/conceptual costume designer Nefeli Papadimouli and performance artist Delphine Bereski, searching for passages between sculpture, conceptual design, performance video and visual art.

Thea Soti is not only interested in simply manipulating her own voice, but all the memories, social affiliation and identity issues that come with it. It all gets shaken up, when we hear voices and words that resemble humans, yet we fail to identify and assign them to any cultural or geographical categories. She is messing with our heads, playing with our deepest cultural codes and personal memories, as we get dizzy and lose orientation. She creates well-crafted, multi-layered melodic structures, futuristic choirs and uses languages that could belong to a parallel universe. Cyborg folksongs of another galaxy or anthems of a cyborg space nation. Soti has a fine sense of balance, working that thin line between all that still reminds us of human and something unknown and extraterrestrial. She says, it’s of utmost importance to her that even when digitally manipulated, sliced and computerized, always retain a piece of human touch in her music. That´s why most of her pieces are exclusively based on her own voice and not using any programmed or recorded instruments.

This half-human and half-something-else concept is also strongly reflected in the visual concept and set design of the music video. It is subtle, yet obviously very present: the main theme of the video is to create a situation and a character that both appear ordinary and bizarre. At first sight, it is just the stereotypical female in a beautiful dress. But this dress is much bigger than any human could wear and we come to realize that this siren is stuck and trapped in this dress. The dress also very soon loses its primary meaning and more and more represents the prolongation of her own body, skin and personal traumas. Especially, when the video-diary-like images start flying and controlling her “dress-skin”. As the blue menu hits, she looks like being programmed into a non-human being. Ordinary systems slowly shift to the out-of-ordinary, when the images of a pretty female character are juxtaposed with an avatar-like, genderless creature. The elegant, underwater floating movements change to robotic gestures that turn into desperate fluterring and an uncoordinated scream for escape: twirled into her own dress (and own self), unable to move anymore. The music video was shot in Paris at the end of January 2021 in collaboration with filmmaker Youssef Chebbi, performance artist Delphine Bereski and art director Nefeli Papadimouli, who also holds credits for the conceptual costume design. They didn´t aim at making another music video. A rather wild path was undertaken to experiment with hybrid formats, searching for passages between sculpture, conceptual design, performance video and visual art.

Industrial Complexx is the platform chosen by Thea Soti to premiere her video, so enjoy this great pleasure that the artist herself gives us.

Release date: February 18th, 2021.

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