who/what are we?


Sprechgesang Institute (S.I.) is a research-based platform for artists1 working in an in-between language of two or more disciplines. We believe in the ability of the gap2 between genres to produce fresh and innovative perspectives, offering room to breathe without boundaries, space to improvise and to question3 conventions. We host regular lectures, workshops, and dinners to draw connections and facilitate discussion of in-between languages4.

What is Sprechgesang?: 

Sprechgesang refers to a vocal technique halfway between song and spoken word. Sprechgesang is what occurs when actions are too grand to merely talk about but too fragile to sing; when the heart moves faster than the mouth and pitched syllables are more descriptive than words.  Expanding the definition beyond the voice, sprechgesang more generally describes a search for a new mode of hybrid-communication in the space between two disciplines or techniques.  This concept makes up the root system of S.I.

Sprechgesang Institute is founded and directed by Sarah K Williams.

The S.I. Lecture Series is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts.
Please consider donating through our NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship page


1. artist: someone who makes things5

2. gap: transitional space, a breath, a pause, a blink of silence that registers as substance, a striking resemblance to something familiar but not-yet named, an uncanny overlap

3. to question: why? why not? what if? how? if not now, when? how come? what happens when...? is it possible to...? why can't we...?

4. in-between languages: mash-ups of two or more modes of making things. The result could be, for instance: an omelette with its contents organized as an archaeological site OR a song cycle composed in the key of common household appliances OR a late-night radio program approached from the perspective of rare or endangered plant species.

5. things: objects, writings, sounds, philosophies, concepts, gestures, spaces, materials, solutions, equations, designs, collections, strategies, sculptures, instruments, plays, dinners, diners, films, insults, poems, socks, jokes, houses, parking lots, pies, discoveries, decisions, episodes, molds, casts, perfumes, shapes, architecture, frameworks, formats, examinations, directions, examinations, inquires, diagnosis, investigations, murals, pictures, photographs, portraits, crafts, entertainment, maps, apps, games, ads, pamphlets, dictionaries, atlases, manuals, directories, almanacs, gardens, reservations, appointments, boats, deals, arguments, rafts, snacks, excuses, exercise routines, sonnets, apologies, mistakes, announcements, cocktails, appetizers, candles, albums, office supplies, jingles, one-acts, birthday cakes, lampshades, alternative measuring devices, counter tops, periodicals, proclamations, arrangements, etc. etc. etc.