Accepted Paper:

Where does this voice come from? Acoustics, senses of place and self-knowledge through singing.  

Author:

Valeria Lembo (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to reflect on voice in ecological perspective. Drawing on my personal experiences in singing apprenticeship and on notions of acoustic space (Shafer 1985) and senses of place (Feld 1996), I argue that voice is a relational, emplaced and processual event.

Paper long abstract:

My apprenticeship in singing through different techniques (Atem, Tonus, Ton; Research and Laboratory Theatre; but also yoga and taijiquan) has opened up and showed me a path of self-knowledge. Through specific-oriented tasks and exercises, teachers have been inviting me to take a journey within my own depths. Voice has thus been like a probe, through which engaging in sensual and affective investigations 'from the inside' of vibrating flesh, bones and memories.

However, this process of self-knowledge has never been merely individual and it has always been emplaced. Its effectiveness has actually depended upon the ability of refining listening and relational skills by encountering other beings and 'things'. Self-knowledge and self-discovery processes have not been separated from knowledge and discovery of my singing partners (both human and non-human, living and non-living).

Drawing on my singing practice and on notions of acoustic space (Shafer 1985) and senses of place (Feld 1996), this paper aims to reflect on the intertwined dimension of the relations between beings, materials and places from a vocal and musical perspective. By linking together a phenomenological and auto-ethnographic analysis of my vocal apprenticeship process with notions of acoustics and history of architecture, I argue that voice is a relational, emplaced and processual event, which needs to be considered in ecological perspective.

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