This article discusses the ways that experimental music and deaf performance critique the presumed limits of hearing, voice, silence, and speech. It analyzes artist and scholar Brandon LaBelle’s rendition of John Cage’s Lecture on Nothing, which features an audio recording of the text read by a deaf person, and bass baritone Nicholas Isherwood’s rendition of Maurizio Kagel’s Phonophonie, which mobilizes seemingly far-fetched personas by means of voice. Through the analyses of these works, the article contests the normative attributions for hearing, voice, silence, and speech.

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