Preface – Communicating About the Voice

Voice is a complicated thing to talk about as you cannot see or touch it. Singers have to rely on images. Those images might be more »physiological« (»lower the larynx«) or more »abstract« (»smell something nice«), but it is always a very individual matter. Two singers with exactly the same background, voice type, and aesthetic taste could still term things very differently. To achieve the same effect, one singer might think »breathe into the thighs,« while the other focuses on their »third eye.«

Every voice is different, just as every body and the perception of your own body. Therefore, communicating about the voice requires several layers, to increase the chance of being understood. Any instructions in this blog on how to achieve a certain sound or to name or notate a certain sound are only meant as a starting point. Every performer has to experiment and discover for themselves and find the path to their own voice(s).


For a long time, I have been fascinated with the multitude of voices in contemporary and traditional music, and studying different singing techniques; some I have just started, others I have used for a longer time. This year, I am planning two big projects for solo voice, and for both of them I have to go very deep into several exciting styles.

My residency at Schloss Solitude started in April. Here, I am working on beatboxing: the technique, possibilities of notation, experimentation, and modification, and possibilities of applying beatboxing sounds to thematic improvisation and contemporary music. I have a handful of excellent handpicked composers who will work with me at a later date and compose for my voice on this topic. I will also create a piece myself. The outcome will be presented in the second half of 2017.

In September, I have been invited to perform at the Resonant Bodies Festival, New York. I was given the beautiful and unique possibility of developing a totally free program for this exciting festival for contemporary voice music. Since I am now able to program all the sounds my heart desires, I now have a concert and a deadline to aim for. I have chosen to present the following very special and diverse traditional and experimental singing techniques:

Bulgarian Folk Singing





These will be performed along with my own thematic improvisations and contemporary composition, each dealing with an important approach to using the voice. As the preparation time for that program lies also in the time of my stay at Schloss Solitude, that work might also appear on Beat Blog over the next months.