[spectre] New transcript available online: PROBES #10, curated by Chris Cutler

Radio Web MACBA rwm2008 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 17:30:34 CET 2014

*New transcript available online: PROBES #10, curated by Chris Cutler*
PROBES #10 is the first of two programmes that trace probes into the limits
and extended use of the human voice.

Link: http://rwm.macba.cat/en/extra/probes10-chris-cutler/capsula

A must read!

Here a small excerpt:

'Public and social singing had always been defined by the need to project.
>From church to opera, bel canto to music hall, the voice was first and
inescapably confronted with acoustic spaces that it had to fill. Choirs
were the obvious solution for larger environments, but after the creation
of opera – in which dramatic form obliged individuals to carry the musical
burden – new vocal techniques evolved which enabled singers not only to
fill ever-larger public auditoria, but also to be heard above increasingly
expanded instrumental ensembles. So what we now know as the operatic voice,
was a highly unnatural – and highly formalised – response to a very
practical problem: offering a singing solution in contexts for which other,
more intimate – and, one has to say, more versatile – forms of singing
would fail for simple lack of power: a textbook case of the survival of the
loudest. I’d like to propose a simple evolutionary rule here; one which can
be universally applied. It’s this: instruments, performance techniques, and
all the forms that music can take have no choice but to evolve in lockstep
with the exigencies, on the one hand, of the physical spaces in which they
have to operate and, on the other, of the necessities of their social
function. That’s why they vary so widely between cathedrals, drawing rooms,
dancehalls and battlefields. In the real world, space is absolute'.
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