16th September, 2021 / 11:00 - 12:00
12th November, 2015
Professor David Toop – UAL Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation presents three extraordinary singers – Sofia Jernberg, Shelley Hirsch and Elaine Mitchener – who will be the foundation of an event that blurs the line between performance and conversation, asking questions about vocal performance in all forms of the voice as instrument and narrator, where the voice comes from within body, thought, language and ancestry and where it fits within an ecology of cultural and biological communications. As well as provoking the conversation, David Toop will be playing extracts from Lost Shadows, his acclaimed recordings of Yanomami vocal shamanism and ceremonies, released by Sub Rosa earlier this year.
Shelley Hirsch is an internationally renowned critically acclaimed vocalist, composer, “storyteller”, performance artist , whose solo compositions, staged intermedia work, improvisations, installations and radio plays have been presented in clubs, concert halls, museums, and theaters and on television and radio on 5 continents. She can be heard on over 70 CDs including several on Tzadik. Her latest – Where Were You Then? – is a CD of songs and stories co-composed with Simon Ho.
“Hirsch is a woman of 1000 Voices . . . an extraordinary vocalist… enormously, inventive, scathingly satiric and virtuosic… A brilliant overwhelming presence on stage.” (New York Times)
Elaine Mitchener A vocalist noted for her unique melding of styles ranging from contemporary classical, gospel, jazz, sound poetry, free-improvisation and movement, Elaine Mitchener has worked with a range of musicians and artists. In November she will premiere Industrialising Initimacy atearthestic festival (Brighton Dome) followed by a UK tour.
“Mitchener is a genre-crossing virtuoso” Financial Times
Sofia Jernberg is a singer and composer, born in Ethiopia in 1983. She grew up in Sweden, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and is currently based in Oslo, Norway.
Sofia is active in a wide field in music. She co-leads and composes for modern jazz octet Paavo and contemporary quartet The New Songs. She has performed several staged music theater pieces.
One of her deepest interests is to develop the “instrumental” possibilities of the voice. Her singing vocabulary include sounds and techniques that often contradict a conventional singing style. She has dug deep into split tone singing, pitchless singing and distorted singing.