Cara Tolmie – LIT BY A CAR

Cara Tolmie's practice centres itself upon the voice, the body and the complex ties between the two. All at once subjective as well as socially determined, she explores voice and body as two codependent entities able to prompt as well as contradict one another. 

Here, on her debut release, her vocal ruminations explore a practice of sounding on both the inhale and exhale as well as a self-soothing touch strategy she developed in reaction to symptoms triggered by post-concussion syndrome. In an attempt to displace vocality towards and through parts of the body extraneous to the mouth, Cara lets sounds forge paths and encircle the body's inner topography, soaking her voice through a labyrinth of pumping blood, organs and the touch of skin.

The result is a music that offers snapshots of the body tempered by different conditions; resting, moving, listening, pleasure, strain and sensitivity. Cara invokes waves of sound; sometimes calm and meditative, sometimes teetering on discomfort; sometimes falling into an anxious refrain. 'Lit by a Car' offers the space and time to come to terms with these feelings and give them life - letting the breath of voice twist and turn in compellingly peculiar new directions.


All music & recording by Cara Tolmie


Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

Special thanks to Nisse Bergman, Stine Janvin, Gavin Maycroft, Kimberley O'Neill, Duncan Marquiss, Deirdre J. Humphrys, Frida Sandström, Birk Gjerlufsen and Susanna Jablonski for lending their ears

1 - crooning inwardly, gyrating discreetly [09:05]

2 - towards a party (of 3 or 4 or 5) [05:37]

3 - with a twig as a brush [01:18]

4 - alongside mud [02:59]

5 - sweating lightly [06:28]

6 - until the battery dies [03:02]

Cara Tolmie

Cara works from within the intersections of performance, music, artistic research and moving image. Her solo works explore different ways of disrupting the affective economies revolving around ‘The Singer’ through various uses of the defamiliarised, uncanny and sampled singing voice.

Collaboration is a contingent aspect of her ongoing practice both in the making of works as well as more expanded research projects. She has recently worked with Stine Janvin, Zoë Poluch, Kim Coleman, Will Holder, Seymour Wright, Paul Abbott in group ULAAPARC, on artistic research projects Gender of Sound with Susanna Jablonski and The Glossary of the Event with Frida Sandström and Aleksei Borisionok.

She is currently a doctoral candidate in Critical Sonic Practice at Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm conducting artistic research project Listening to the Displaced Vocal Body. This project looks to performance practices that disrupt the continuity between the voice and body as a fixed singular entity and explore what experimental listening relations might emerge as a result of this figure.