At the beginning of the year I made a promise to myself. A promise to honor the creative exploration I have shared in circle after circle with imaginers, actors, musicians, educators, artists, activists-those who invite us to rise up inside, speak our truths and fill the world with beauty.
In 1974 Storefront Theater’s inspired director/creator/designer, Ric Young, asked me to make some atmospheric vocal sound for a scene being rehearsed. I’d never sounded like that before and I was surprised by what came out. It made me wonder, “what is this sinuously rhythmic taproot connected to? Where does it come from and where does it go?”
That experience propelled me on a life-long journey through levels of intuitive engagement with sound. Over the years I’ve studied and worked with remarkable vocal and improvisational artists like Viola Spolin, Izetta Smith, David Hykes (Mongolian Singing), Robin Lane, Rhiannon, Chloe Godchild (Naked Voice Training), Paul Newham (Voice Movement Therapy) and others.
Improvisation has been an integral part of my life, though not always as a vocal artist. I improvised my way into creating theater characters, performance pieces, sculptural costumes, songwriting, parade float designs, art curriculum, collaborative stories. I love that there are many ways to enter the river of moving energy that is improvisation…actively engaging, in the moment, with creative flow.
Creative flow is a landscape of inner potential through which we practice and expand our capacity to trust, invite freedom, inter-connectedness, empowerment and inspired, playful wandering. The qualities needed to access it are essential for creating a vibrant, transformative community…open minds, courage, and willingness to explore the unknown.
That’s why I am holding space, now, for myself and others to engage in improvisational practice. Over the years I have shaped what I learned singing with colleagues and facilitating workshops into a sequence of sound games. This year, I translated those games into a set of cards.
In Fall 2016 Voiceweaving Elements (cards and accompanying booklet) will be available for purchase. I’m very excited to share this work with you! The set of cards includes sound games for one, for a duo, a small group and a larger circle of singers. I hope this tool will help others discover their own pathway into the amazing world of improvisational singing!
Join me on May 10th at Cerimon House for a free Voiceweaving class and take home a sample card.