Chloé Larmet, Theatrical schizophonies:  separating the inseparable: actors and their voices as reflected in digital technologies

Chloé Larmet, Theatrical schizophonies: separating the inseparable: actors and their voices as reflected in digital technologies


2020 - 2021


Chloé Larmet

EA 4414 History of Arts and Representations (HAR)

SCHIZOPHONY (from the Greek schizo: to split and phonon: “voice”, “sound”): separation between an original sound and its electro-acoustic reproduction. R. Murray Schafer, Soundscape

Digital sound technologies have made the experience of schizophony commonplace: from sound amplification in the theater to connected vocal interfaces, we encounter voices separated from their bodies every day without being surprised. This separation is not insignificant, however, and for centuries has occupied both philosophy – from Socrates’ daemon to Lacan’s lalangue – as well as theatrical studies – Grotowski’s resonators or Anatoli Vassiliev’s verbal movement. In other words, the schizophony that Schafer identifies (and condemns) in contemporary society has origins that date long before the invention of sound recording and broadcasting techniques at the beginning of the 20th century.

The goal of this research is to test a provocative hypothesis: what if the vocal act were properly schizophonic? Digital technologies would then reveal a logic of fragmentation already contained in the voice. As disturbing as it may seem, schizophony would be the primary condition of the vocal subject. It is with this element of disturbance that we intend to nurture our research, by combining our reflection in three orientations : 

  1. A diachronic perspective that aims to outline a brief history of schizophony in the theater of the twentieth century up to the synthetic voices and the live digital treatment of voices used today in contemporary creation.
  2. A synchronic perspective that focuses on understanding the phenomenon of vocal schizophony in the present of theatrical representation through a field survey with sound creators.
  3. A pedagogical and creative perspective which aims to question the aesthetic, dramaturgical and playful issues of a schizophonic practice of the voice. Within the research-creation process, these experiments will lead to workshops open to the ArTeC community and to professional actors and singers.


Teacher and drama critic, Chloé Larmet has completed a dissertation in Performing Arts (Theater). She is a specialist in contemporary scenic aesthetics, the sound dimension of theater and the relationship between theater and philosophy.

In 2016 she defended her dissertation, “Experiences of Voice: Listening to Krystian Lupa, Christoph Marthaler, Joël Pommerat, Claude Régy and Anatoli Vassiliev” which received the jury’s unanimous congratulations. She has published numerous book chapters, some twenty articles in journals such as Théâtre/Public and Alternatives Théâtrales and has taken part in the organization of several international scientific events around the voice and its practices.

In 2018 she designed and directed the workshop “Voices on Stage” at the Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens, as part of the European event “Performing Greek Tragedy in the Digital Era Sound and Technology Experimentation”.


Tutor: Christophe Triau (Paris Nanterre University)