Friday, 1 June 2018

Recovering the Voice event at The Word

Together with Jenny Richards and Violetta Hionidou, I have been involved in the organisation of 'Recovering the Voice', an event that took place today at The Word. The broad aim was to make connections between research on physical voice that is happening across Newcastle University. We want to bring to fore an area we think is a unique strength at Newcastle University, and to add to the orality network a distinct focus that may help us to think about future cross-disciplinary bids to UKRI.

1. How do we recover the voice?

This is a question that is relevant both to arts and humanities scholars/practitioners who work historically, whose sources are textual only, and to clinicians who work with patients who have had major surgery on their vocal cords. In both cases the voice is 'lost'.

2. How do we work together to understand the cultural value and the semiotics of the voice?

It was a truly fascinating event and I am very stimulated and want to learn more. Before I reflect on the events of the day in another post, here is an outline of the event

10.00-10.30 welcome: introductions, what we hope to get out of today? Tea and coffee on arrival.

10.30-12-00 session 1

Provocateurs: Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, London), Jo Nockels (Opera North, Leeds), Peter Adegbie (poet and preacher), Vinidh Paleri (ENT surgeon, Royal Marsden, London)

12-1.00 Lunch

1.00-2.30 session 2

Provocateurs: Sue Bradley (oral historian, Newcastle University), Felicity Laurence (independent scholar; music education), Christos Salis (neurolinguistics, Newcastle University); Christos Kakalis (architect, Newcastle University)

2.30-3.00 tea and coffee

3-4.00 Final roundtable and next steps

4pm Please feel free to view Helen Shaddock's exhibition at the library.

Questions to think about

Morning (Jenny introducing)

Part 1 Recovering Physical Voice

- what does the voice mean to you?

- why is voice important to your work?

- how do you understand and analyse the physical voice?

- in what way does the voice carry meaning?

- what do we *not* know about the voice but need to know?

- how do we recover the voice, whether in actuality (i.e. rebuilding a voice) or historically?

Afternoon (Violetta introducing)

Part II: Recovering the voice and orality

- Orality versus voice/vocality: how do you define each? which focus works best for you and why?

- What are the social aspects of work on voice/orality?

- How important are hearing and seeing to orality/voice?

- What are we excluding through a focus on voice/orality?

- Do we need an international perspective on voice/orality?

- How can the digital help us to recover the voice/orality?

- How do we best translate the voice/orality into a written text?

Final Roundtable

Next steps: a final provocation, to be led by Liz Kemp:

It has been said we lack a 'science of the voice' (Adriana Cavarera). If we were to build a field to address this, what would it look like?

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