All sessions are held on Monday evenings: 18.00 – 20.00
February – 20th, 27th
March – 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
As part of an ongoing project with Mint, artist and musician Cara Tolmie will host a series of sessions around vocal exploration, improvisation and Internal Singing – a practice that she has been developing over the past five years.
Each session will introduce Internal Singing to the group, give some space to explore the practice and also leave time for other group vocal experiments and diversions.
Cara’s desire is that these weekly meetings be a gathering space for anyone that is excited by exploring the outer edges of their voice together, almost like a vocal exercise class: making sound with under used or unknown qualities of the voice; enjoying the voice in all its strange capacity; playing together through non-verbal sound making; experimenting with the power, vulnerability, and radical communication that group vocalising can facilitate.
All sessions are drop-in but it is important that participants arrive in good time. Anyone is welcome, no previous experience with singing is required. These sessions will be held in English but we can make space to translate for one another if you would like to join and do not understand or speak English.
Internal Singing is a practice that explores a sensitised voice-body bind by investigating the relationship between sounding on both the inhale and exhale, improvisation, vocal imaginaries and self-administered touch (that focuses the body in states of over-stimulation). As it builds up slowly through acute attention to breath, inclination, pleasure and circulation this practice attempts to prise open a space, ever-accessible. One that can be used to gather, improvise and examine what might emerge when acute sensitivity and tenderness are valued as skill and/or knowledge form.
The practice unfolds as follows:
“I concentrate on my breath and quieten myself. I focus my attention on my skin as a tender transmitter between the inside of my body and its touchable outside surface. I sense two points where my body is asking to be touched. I slowly raise my hands, make them loose and heavy, and allow them to be pulled towards these two points on my skin. I concentrate once more on my breath and very slowly allow sound to emerge, both from the inhale and the exhale. I imagine these sounds to be pulled out of, around, and between the two points I hold with my fingertips. I do not imagine these sounds in advance but try to allow them to ‘fall out’, as if of their own volition. I then play these sounds, manipulating and exploring them through small, repeated movements and increased/decreased pressure around the touch points. In this way, I imagine singing the vocal sounds through my inner organs, out towards the two points that are being pressured by my touch, approaching these with my voice from the inside-out. I also visualise sending the sounds through my fingertips towards the inside of my body, from the outside-in. Within this multidirectional movement, I allow new vocal sounds to come into being by imagining my voice moving between and through the two points of touch, soaking in and out of the material of my flesh, organs, skin, nerves, and blood.”
Example of Internal Singing: https://youtu.be/kBljGo3MhKg
Cara Tolmie spends much of her time oscillating between contexts as an artist, musician, performer, DJ, pedagogue and researcher. Her works have been performed and exhibited widely at art galleries, music festivals, biennials, conferences and in the public space – both as solo presentations and collaborative projects. Her practice at large centres itself upon the voice, the body and the complex ties between the two. All at once subjective as well as socially determined, she explores voice and body as two codependent entities able to confirm as well as contradict one another. Within this she often explores performative techniques that disorient the listening relationship between the singer and her audience through live uses of the defamiliarised, uncanny and sampled singing voice.
Cara is currently a PhD candidate in Critical Sonic Practice at Konstfack, Stockholm.