Katharine Norman

is a composer, writer, teacher and sound artist – in no particular order. At present she lives near Cambridge, England and at the time of writing (2009) has a post at City University London. Her music and sound pieces can be found on Last.fm and sonus.ca, and novamara.com. Increasingly, she writes about music and sound, and in particular electroacoustic and electronic music – Sounding Art: Eight Literary Excursions through Electronic Music, a book of experimental writings on recent electronic music (of many kinds and approaches) was published by Ashgate in 2004.



Losing It


This text-based sound piece is about insomnia. Perhaps it’s best listened to over headphones, where its annoyingly repetitive obsessions can get right between your ears – in that way that insomnia plagues me at least, with scurrying thoughts and aggravating worries.


The work was made from transformed voice (mine), processed noise and environmental recordings or crows and a British dawn chorus.


Losing it….losing it…close your eyes. Close your eyes! …
Sleep… sleep – you’re losing it, losing it.
Trying to smudge that white line of consciousness.
Aching to fall… into oblivion.
Trapped in limbo between sleep and the desire to sleep.
Frozen beyond waking.
Half dead…half still, or half awake? Not whole.
Can’t stop thinking, can’t stop remembering this cruel parade of itchy embarrassments, scratching away beneath blank eyes.
There is too much noise for rest, there is too much sight for blindness.
Sleep now, before it’s too late – morning’s manic birds are gouging you into wakefulness.
Sleep. You’re losing it…