Voice and Texture

Joan La Barbara
Voice is the Original Instrument
The human voice is the only instrument on the recordings. The works on Voice is the Original Instrument were some of Joan’s earliest compositions, researching the possibilities of the voice, in two rigorous études, “Circular Song” and “Voice Piece: One-Note Internal Resonance Investigation”, and the more free-form “Vocal Extensions”, which uses live electronic processing.

Traditional Throat Singing of the Inuit
listen from 18:48 – 23:28′
Kiah Hachey and Karen Flaherty are two young Inuit women from Nunavut in Northern Canada. Their magic is the female traditional art of katajjaq. Mostly performed as a duet, this form of throat singing mimics the natural world. Wind, ice, sea and bird sounds dominate.

Akazehe – Greeting Sung by a young girl
Recorded on June 9, 1967 In the same breath, the singer uses both chest-voice and head-voice (alternating rapidly from one to the other) to obtain a yodelling effect which is frequently encountered in Africa among the pygmies. and here is another similar vocal technique from another part of Africa:

The technique here is called HOCKETING
You can hear an example of Hocketing HERE by the Dirty Projectors and in this album by Meira O’Reilly.

Stephanie Loveless – Cricket Tree Crow (17:50)

Cricket, Tree, Crow is a quadraphonic sound piece in three movements that investigates the voices of the cricket, the crow, and the maple tree. All sonic material in the work is based on vocal mimicry of the sounds produced by members of the species themselves.

The piece is driven by the desire to explore the boundaries between human and nonhuman subjectivites. In trying to mimic sounds that are not natural to the human vocal apparatus, I am interested in the friction, or encounter, between non-human voices and my own. By studying recordings of crickets, crows and maple trees — in slowing them down, parsing their frequencies, and matching my voice to theirs as closely as I can — I hope to open myself to their respective worlds.

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