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The voice of resonance - this weekend on The Sound Barrier!

The Sound Barrier for Sunday 30 April 2017

The human voice is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, musical instrument. And yet it is surprising how little its potential has been extended over the thousands of years of its history, even though the actual music it has been required to sing has, of course, changed enormously.

But it is only fairly recently that the many different ways in which the human voice can be used have been explored and exploited with unfettered creativity and daring.This weekend's edition of The Sound Barrier, will give you a glimpse of some of this, where my special guests in the studio will be three vocalists who will be part of Resonant Bodies, a journey into and beyond the limits of the human voice, being presented this coming Friday night at the Melbourne Recital Centre, as part of this year's Metropolis New Music Festival.

Resonant Bodies Festival was originally founded in New York by Lucy Dhegrae, and she, together soprano Jane Shelton will be joining me in the studio this Sunday night to talk about their work, about the pieces being performed at Friday night's concert, as well as the ways in which they seek to change and challenge notions of what the human voice, as a musical instrument, and as part of a human body, is all about.

We'll be listening to some of their work, as well as the complete original recording of Peter Russell Davies' ferocious and witty Eight Songs for a Mad King, which will be performed at Friday night's concert by local baritone Matthew Thomas.

I'll also be playing for you one of the most challenging and terrifying works for solo voice, Schrei 27 by Diamanda Galás, a work of unrelenting agony and pain that conveys the horrors of torture, in whatever form humans might find to inflict it upon one another. 'This is not ambient music', as the liner notes warn us.

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