Zeynep Bulut


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Voice, Experimental Music, Sound and Media Art


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Research Statement

Zeynep Bulut is a Lecturer in Music at Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to joining Queen’s, she was an Early Career Lecturer in Music at King’s College London (2013-2017), and Research Fellow at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (2011-2013). She received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies/Experimental Practices in Music from the University of California at San Diego (2011), M.A. in Visual Arts Visual Communication Design from Sabanci University (2002) and B.A. in Sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul (2000). She also studied opera in the State Conservatory of Mimar Sinan University (1996-1999), and ethnomusicology in MIAM (Centre for Advanced Studies in Music) at Istanbul Technical University (2003-2005). Situated in the fields of experimental music, voice and sound studies, Zeynep’s scholarly and creative work examines the emergence, embodiment and mediation of voice as skin. Inspired by the non-linguistic voice in experimental music and the notion of “skin-ego,” as proposed by French psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu, she first pursued the idea of voice as skin in her PhD dissertation, titled La Voix-Peau: Understanding the Physical, Phenomenal and Imaginary Limits of the Voice Through Contemporary Music (2011). Taking her initial cue from La Voix-Peau, and drawing on the nonverbal voice in experimental music and media art, her first manuscript, titled, Building a Voice: Sound, Surface, Skin (under contract with Goldsmiths Press) theorizes voice and speech as emergent, exploratory and shared, without being limited to human body or mediums of verbal language. 

Zeynep's articles have appeared in various volumes and journals including Perspectives of New Music, Postmodern Culture, and Music and Politics. Alongside her scholarly work, she has also exhibited sound works, and composed and performed vocal pieces for concert, video and theatre. She has released two singles, Eclipse (Diffuse Records 2019), and Loneliness (2021). Her composer profile has been featured by British Music Collection. 

Zeynep has held visiting research position at the Max Planck Research Group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics” (July-September 2018). She is reviews editor for Twentieth-Century Music, and project lead for the research platform and network, Music, Arts, Health, and Environment, supported by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account at QUB.
Research Interests and Teaching: 
Zeynep’s research interests include voice and embodiment, sound and new media art, epistemologies and technologies of hearing and speech, affect and new materialisms, digital media and culture, deaf performance and culture, music and medicine, and voice and speech disorders in the history of science and medicine. 
Zeynep offers courses on contemporary music, sound art and sound studies, theories of voice, auditory culture, and popular music. Her specialty courses include Bodies Matters Soundscapes, Voice and Environment, Music and Medicine, Experimental Popular Musics, and Disco Culture. She also contributes to practice-based modules including Song Writing and Ensemble Performance. Zeynep welcomes PhD students in the areas of voice studies, sound studies, experimental music, sound and media art, and music and medical humanities.
Academic Service and Public Engagement: 
At the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Zeynep initiated and co-convened the symposium Resonant Bodies: Landscapes of Acoustic Tension with Claudia Peppel (ICI Berlin) and Prof. Brandon LaBelle (Bergen Academy of Art and Design). Resonant Bodies (2013) included keynotes, panels, exhibition and a performance. Hosted by the ICI Berlin, the symposium was funded by and realized in cooperation with the Volkswagen Foundation. At King's College London, she co-convened a one day symposium, Habits and Spirits: Sound, Place, and Technology, with Brendan Thornton (UNC), and a two-day event, False Alarm: Aurality, Errancy and Voice. Habits and Spirits (2016) was a collaboration between the Department of Music at King's and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and supported by King's College Fund. False Alarm (2016) included panels, talks, and a concert. A collaborative event, False Alarm was supported by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Department of Music at King's College London and the Department of Media and Computing (MetaGesture Music project) at Goldsmiths, University of London. In April 2017, Zeynep co-organized the symposium, Techno-Human Encounters, with Kurt James Werner, as part of Sonorities Festival Belfast 2017. More recently, she co-convened the workshop, Voice and Environment, with Martin J. Daughtry (NYU), at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. The event was supported by QUB, NYU, and the ICI Berlin. 
Zeynep's project initiative, Map A Voice, was awarded a Collaborative Innovation Grant for Early Career Researchers at King’s College London (2016). This project was a collaboration between Department of Music at King's College London and Department of Media and Computing & Rapid-Mix at Goldsmiths, University of London, and supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s as part of the Early Career Researchers scheme. The project aims to explore the sonic and social interactions between voice and physical environment. Map a Voice has been further developed at SARC. For more information, please visit: http://www.mapavoice.co.uk 
Zeynep's media appearances include a conversation with sound and visual artist Christine Sun Kim and artist, researcher and writer Anna Bromley, featured as part of Lautstrom series convened by Anna Bromley on Berlin's Reboot FM, and an interview with artist and scholar Maria Papadomanolaki, as part of Papadomanolaki's show Sensing Cities on Resonance FM. Most recently, she has appeared on London's Soho Radio, as part of Harriet Moss's show, Soho Classical, and on A Belfast Blog initiated by Sophie Hayles and Jonathan Brennan. 



Selected Publications:

Building a Voice: Sound, Surface, Skin. London: Goldsmiths Press, distributed by the MIT Press, 2024.

“Searching for the Intimacy of Voice: In conversation with Elaine Mitchener,” Living Music. Eds. Christopher Dingle and Xenia Pestova Bennett. London, New York: Routledge, forthcoming. 

“Alien Speech, Shared Sense,” Music, Sound, and Global Modernism: A Critical History. Eds. Daniel Grimley and Sherry Lee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in progress, forthcoming. 

Last Breath, Sensing Life,” Oxford Handbook of Sound Art, Eds. Jane Grant, John Matthias, and David Prior, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 367-385. 

“Anonymous Voice, Sound and Indifference,” Einstein on the Beach: Opera beyond Drama. Eds. Jelena Novak and John Richardson. London: Ashgate, 2019.

“Planes, Walls, and Bits of Sound: Healing a voice,” Special issue on voice. Eds. J. Martin Daughtry and Clara Latham. Music and Politics, X.2 (Summer, 2016).

“Silence and Speech in Lecture on Nothing and Phonophonie,” Voice Matters. Eds. Nina Sun Eidsheim and Annette Schlichter. Postmodern Culture 24.3 (May 2014).

“Singing and a song: The intimate difference in Susan Philipsz’s Lowlands,” Gestures of Music Theatre: The Performativity of Song and Dance. Eds. Millie Taylor and Dominic Symonds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, January 2014, 179-190.

“Theorizing Voice in Performance: György Ligeti’s Aventures,” Perspectives of New Music. Volume 48, No 1, Winter 2010, 44-65.

Reviews and Other Articles:

“Fear not, keep breathing,” in the Exhibition Catalogue of Dystopia Sound Art. Dystopia Sound Art, curated by Selcuk Artut and Jeremy Woodruff, supported by Akbank Sanat and Goethe Institute, Akbank Sanat, Istanbul, 2021. 

Kelly, Caleb. Gallery Sound (London, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017) Journal of Sonic Studies, June 2020. https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/558982/934177

Young, Miriama. Singing the Body Electric: The Human Voice And Sound Technology (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015) Twentieth Century Music 13.1 (Spring 2016).

Bernhart, Walter & Lawrence Kramer (Eds.) On Voice (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014) Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies Volume 1. Issue 2 (May 2016).

“Cage and Care” in Dirty Ear Report #1, edited by Brandon LaBelle, Berlin, Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, July 2016.

“A vibration meant-to be,” LOUD Silence, Exhibition Catalog No 19, Gallery at CALIT (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology), University of California, San Diego, edited and curated by Amanda Cachia, 2015, 42-51.

Talks, Seminars, Panels (2017- 2024):

"Reflections on Distributed Speech." Research Seminar Series convened by the Department of Music at City, University of London, 27 March 2024.

"Historical Turns and Promises of Sounding Together." Sound in Artistic Research 2023/2024 | Public Lecture Series. Moderated by Prof. Dr. Sabine Sanio. Universität der Künste Berlin. 29 January 2024.

“Biosensing Musical Interface As Tactile Speech,” Instruments, Interfaces, Infrastructures: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Musical Media. Conference convened by the Department of Music at Harvard University, organised by Landon Morrison, 11-13 May 2023. 

“Voice Interfacing with Skin,” Research Seminar/Colloquium Series. Department of Music, University of Birmingham, 26 April 2023.

“A Case of Voice-Skin: Bio-sensor Performance.” Research Seminar/Colloquium Series. School of Music, University College Dublin, 16 February 2023. 

“Voices across the ocean,” Sonic Sentience: Can you hear the ocean’s voice? Panel curated and convened by Carla J. Maier. With Gilles Aubry and Carla J. Maier. Norient Festival. Bern, 13 January 2023. 

Music and Sound in Narratives of Healing. Inaugural Conference of Music, Arts, Health, and Environment Research Network and Platform (MAHE). Convened by Zeynep Bulut. Supported by ESRC Impact Acceleration Account at QUB. Zoom, 16 December 2022. 

“Listening to depth, surfaces, and edges.” Sonic Meditation with Ignota Books, as part of the live programme, Caves, Dwellings, and Vibrations. Curated by Canan Batur. Nottingham Contemporary, 11 December 2022. 

Environmental Mediations of Voice, Speech, and Public Health. Convened by Zeynep Bulut. With Orla Duffy and Karen Diamond. Supported by and featured as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science in NI 2022. The MAC Belfast, 5 November 2022. 

“Sustainable Speech,” Considering Trauma Across Sound and Music Disciplines. Panel convened by Jillian Rogers, Erin M. Brooks, and Michelle Meinhart. American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology and Society for Music Theory Joint Meeting, New Orleans, 12 November 2022. 

“Skin-Voice,” Seminar. Public Program: Voice As Object, Object (H)as Voice. The Field Kitchen Academy. Curated by Ece Pazarbasi. Brandenburg, 13 August 2022. 

“Sustainable Speech,” In-person and Virtual Seminar, 2021-2022 FUAIM Lecture Series. Convened by Alex Khalil. Department of Music, University College Cork, 3 March 2022. 

“Alarm will touch,” Attention, Cognition, and the Auditory Self, 1770-1920 at the Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik. Convened by Carmel Raz (MPIEA) and Francesca Brittan (Case Western Reserve University), Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik, Frankfurt, 5-6 August 2021.

“Distributed Voices, Response, and Responsibility,” Virtual Lecture, Lecture Series: Whose Voice Matters? The voice (in art) as material, sense, meaning and power. Convened by Salomé Voegelin, Die Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Berlin,  21 June 2021. 

“Self-Talk and Migration of Voices,” Virtual Seminar, Colloquium Series, Department of Music, Wesleyan University, 18 March 2021.

“A Piece of Sustainability,” Music, Sound, and Trauma: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, virtual conference organised by Erin Brooks, Jillian Rogers, Michelle Meinhart, and Jacqueline Fortier, Indiana University, 12-14 February 2021.

“Tactile Speech, and Biosensor Performance as a Case of Voice-Skin,” Sound Instruments and Sonic Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Conference, virtual conference supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, The University of Leeds, The University of Sheffield, and The University of York. The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, 14-18 December 2020.

Chaired the session, “Voice and Race,” American Musicological Society’s Annual Meeting, virtual conference, 7-8, 14-15 November 2020.

“Up in the air: Communal Voice Making,” Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, 27 February 2020. 

Participant, Panelist, "AI and Voice," “Human-Data Interaction - music, art & culture workshop” organised by Human-Data Interaction Research Network, Atau Tanaka (Goldsmiths, University of London), Tadeo Sendon (Music Hackspace), Alan Munro (University of Glasgow), Somerset House, London, 20 September 2019

Respondent, “Other Rooms” performance by Pamela Z, at SAVVY Contemporary Berlin, as part of the "Untraining the Ear: Listening Session," convened by SAVVY Contemporary in collaboration with Deutschlandfunk Kultur and CTM Festival, 26 May 2019. 

“On Non-Dialogic Voicing,” Voice and Environment, co-convened by Zeynep Bulut and J.Martin Daughtry at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, with the support of ICI Berlin, Queen’s University Belfast, and New York University, 18 March 2019.

Panelist, “Voice, Embodiment, and Neural Plasticity,” Post Stroke Music and Neural Plasticity, convened by Rosetta Life in collaboration with Belfast International Arts Festival, Sonic Arts Research Centre,  School of Arts, English and Languages, Queen’s University Belfast, 17 October 2018. 

“A Case of Tactile Speech,” Errant Sound/Errant Bodies Project Space, Berlin, 19 August 2018. 

“Voicing Infrasound,” Sensing the sonic: vibratory histories of hearing differently (1800-now), convened by Melissa Van Drie and Melle Kromhout, with the support of the European Research Council Project “Sound and Materialism in the 19th century” directed by David Trippett. Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge (UK), 15-16 June 2018.

 “Her Voice,”; revised title: "Her Voice in The Force of Things", The Audible Spectrum: Sound Studies, Hearing Culture and Sound Art,” organised by the Cité de la musique/Philharmonie de Paris and the H2H LABEX Research project “The factory of sound arts” (University of Paris 8 Vincennes - Saint-Denis). Convened by Bastien Gallet, Stéphane Roth, Matthieu Saladin, 7-9 June 2018. 

“Waste, Voice, Recycling: The Waste Land and Environmental Dialogue,” Research Colloquium, Department of Music, University of Oxford, 2 May 2017. 

Last Breath, Sensing Life,” Research Seminar, Department of Music and Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, 8 March 2017. 

 “The Volume of Christine Sun Kim’s Nap Disturbance,” Space and Sonic Identities Seminar Series, convened by the Bartlett Sound Making Space Doctoral Network, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, 2 March 2017. 

Albums, Exhibits, Performances: 

Loneliness, Single (video release, 2020; single release on digital music platforms, 2021), music and lyrics by Zeynep Bulut, harmony, piano and synthesiser arrangement by Xenia Pestova Bennett, double bass arrangement by Adam Pultz Melbye, mix and mastering by Jonny McGuiness and Adam Pultz Melbye, performed by Zeynep Bulut (voice), Xenia Pestova Bennett (piano and synthesiser), and Adam Pultz Melbye (double bass). 

Eclipse, Single (Diffuse Records), produced by Erdem Helvacioglu, video directed by Conan McIvor, supported by Music and Sonic Arts Research Centre, School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, May 2019 (single release), August 2019 (video release).

Flight, sound installation (for female bird sounds, voice, drawing), included in the exhibition, Still, curated by Min Kim. PS2 Gallery Belfast, 6 March-17 March 2018. 

re-work soulmates, performance piecefor voice, electronics and plastic bags (2007, 2016). Performed by EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble in the concert of the conference, “False Alarm: Aurality, Errancy, and Voice,” initiated and conceived two-day conference and performance, King’s College London, supported by KCL’s Music Department and Arts and Humanities Faculty Research Grant, King’s College London, with in-kind contributions from Goldsmiths, University of London. The Chapel of King’s College London, 25 June 2016.

Migrant Steps, theatre project initiated and directed by actor and researcher Goze Saner (Goldsmiths, University of London), sound design by Zeynep Bulut. The project was realized in cooperation with Goldsmiths, University of London and Daymer, and funded by the Arts Council England, London, 8-9 March 2014. 

 Cage and Care, audio track for Dirty Ear Forum, a sound art forum and exhibition initiated by scholar/artist Brandon LaBelle, participated in the forum/exhibition, Errant Bodies Project Space, included in the Transmediale/reSource Festival, Berlin, 19 January- 3 February 2013. 

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Earlier sound and voice works: 







Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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