the embodied voice

from "A Turbulence of Muses" (2016; Portland OR)

In this paratheatre work, vocalization is approached through somatic exploration of tonal expression
in motion, gesture, and interaction. This "embodied voice" approach gained momentum after 2004
thanks to the ongoing guidance offered by Sylvi Alli (pictured above). Listed below are a series
of terms and definitions for the methods developed during this time.
- Antero

EMBODIED VOICE; a three-step process that starts with 1) sourcing a given
energy, 2) resonating a sound that matches the frequency of that source and
3) allowing the sound to dictate physical movement. Motivated sound as
movement resource. With practice, sound, song, and movement blend
and become unified.

VERTICAL SOURCE; two-way column of energy extending down from above
the head and through the body and down into the earth below, alongside
energy extending up from the earth below, up through the body and up
above the head. Accessed in the jog and in the personal space.

IMPULSES; process of allowing free expression of the body’s spontaneous
responses to stimulus such as singing your song; unplanned and undirected
movements of innate responses to the song

EARTH; source of stabilizing current often incorporated during the jog
to anchor the attention in the body and resonate sounds and tones
that match the earth energy in the body

MICRO MOVEMENTS; very small, and sometimes imperceptibly small,
movements dictated exclusively by the song’s melody

PRECISION; clarifying the form and direction of any movement or sound
by paring away the excess; any unveiling of the essence of a movement,
sound or gesture; economy

SONG ESSENCE; the silent source of the song showing its own distinct force,
quality and tone; with enough commitment to this silent essence,
one can find resonance with its essential tone

ESSENTIAL TONE; the tonal essence of the song as discovered through
resonating a sound to match the song essence; the essential tone is not
the melody of the song but a pre-melodic sound or series of tones

ANCESTRAL SOURCES; any personal and intuitive access to the emotional
and spiritual wellsprings of your genetic lineage as represented by your
chosen song; various modes of song as ancestral vehicle include:
asking them questions, relating to them, singing your song to them,
praying to them, embodying them.

HEAD/HEART/GUT; technique for singing (or toning) the melody of
your song through the three major centers in the body and then,
the three minor centers within each. HEAD: throat, mouth, back of head;
HEART: lungs, upper chest, upper back; GUT: belly, pelvic basin, solar plexus.

RITUAL ACTION; core motivation (why you are singing the song) revealed
and expressed in action while singing, ie., I am singing the song for courage
to endure my losses or I am singing to stay warm or I am singing to fight
my battle or I am singing to honor my ancestors. click this for more info

CALL & RESPONSE; using your song as the only language you have to
reach others; requiring moment-to-moment listening and responding;

LAMENT -- CELEBRANT; dynamic song polarity; using your song-as-vehicle
to lament and/or celebrate; usually done in groups of three or more


from "Orphans of Delirium" (2004; San Francisco)




five levels of "song-as-vehicle"


towards the embodiment of a song

1) STRUCTURAL (developed away from the lab)
learn to sing the song with special attention to hitting each note of the melody

find the micro-movements, the dance and the ritual action innate to the melody

discover the silent essence of the song towards accessing it as a movement resource

discover who or what you are actually singing for and why you must sing this song

maintain the integrity of your song amidst the cacophony of other songs





Songs as Vehicles, Winter Solstice 2004
Berkeley CA

plus field trip photos and lab overview

12/20, Berkeley; program notes

recorded in the Marin Headlands bunkers

since 1999



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