The practices of collaborating composers and performers have been receiving increasing attention within academic discourse. Such collaborations are often presented from two complementary perspectives: pre-compositional joint invention and post-compositional negotiations in the realisation of a score and its notation. This article attempts to bridge the gap between the two perspectives through a discussion on the emergence of ‘voice’ that pervades the artistic practice, and binds the pre- and post-compositional phases together. Two compositions by David Gorton, written in collaboration with guitar player Stefan Östersjö, will be examined: Forlorn Hope for 11-string alto guitar and optional live electronics and Austerity Measures I for 10-string guitar. Both pieces are the result of an extended pre-composition experimental phase, and both pieces attempt to recreate something of those experiments in the contexts of their performance, establishing the conditions for the emergence of a ‘discursive voice’ of both composer and performer.