A Commitment to Sound 2: Finding a Voice

One of the most natural parts of us is our speaking and singing voice. We shape our phrases and intonation to match the mood and express ourselves in speech. Most importantly, we do this totally subconsciously.

To find our voice in playing an instrument means developing an awareness that playing a piece of material, such as wood or metal, is not inherently natural. It is incredibly difficult to develop a sound on our instrument without the influence of our voices to guide the way.

My journey with sound so far has shown me how musical phrases sometimes hold words, gestures and articulations that can be first explored with the voice as the voice has a natural sense of phrasing. Often I have sung a phrase I’m working on and suddenly become aware of bowings and phrasing I have been adopting that make no sense in the context of the voice.

This sense of awareness through the use of the voice is such a valuable tool and makes our sound much more personal. We are developing our own ‘accent’ in a sense, just as actors have arresting voices we strive to develop an arresting sound as our voice between the composer and audience.

My voice is a part of me I am so familiar with and it is wonderful how much it is starting to teach me about my sound!

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