Accepted Paper:

Singing as Life Practice: catharsis, transformation and empowerment through singing.  
Emma Bonnici (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Paper short abstract:

By mapping the voice in the body and observing the placement in resonators and the ability to hold certain intervals, singing can reveal to us our blockages and offer a chance to dialogue with them. Folk song further illuminates this journey, drawing on generations of expression and life experience.

Paper long abstract:

Song as place, song as story, song as healing was revealed to me through the death of my father. Singing the polyphonic harmonies that stretched back to the ancients allowed me to express and be held.

Work with Siberian folk singers first illuminated the connection between song and the place and history of a people. Song is storytelling freed from logic and a concrete method of side-stepping the pre-frontal cortex. But stories are often trapped by physical blockages and prevent us from accessing this resource. Could song be a way of unlocking and discovering the body, the body a way of unlocking the voice, both interwoven with self and identity? I believe it is.

This paper builds on Linklater's pathway of resonators, craniosacral therapy, and vocal anthropological research to delve into the modalities necessary for reading the voice and body as a map, for understanding chords and intervals as pregnant with stories, and how resonators illuminate resistance and habit. It researches the connection between vocal alienation and contemporary mental heath issues.

Emma Bonnici is a singer, performer and teacher whose work is rooted in Grotowski inspired theatre. Company member of Song of the Goat Theatre and Teatr Zar, she is founder of Song As Life Practice, which runs residencies in Poland and the U.K. An Associate Lecturer at MMU, Rose Bruford and Cabuia (Argentina), she delivers courses for Kerry Nicholls Dance, Dance City and numerous private clients worldwide. She delivered 'The Power of the Voice' for TEDX Warsaw in 2015.

Panel P042
Knowing by singing: song, acoustic ecologies and the overflow of meaning