PEVOC Aug 27-30, 2019 Copenhagen, Denmark
Pevoc Copenhagen 2019 report Lieve Jansen
After the very successful opening reception in the beautiful university hall, with a welcome from the university dean and Jenny Iwarsson from the organizing committee, the first part of the evening was rounded off with an A capella male choir. Set up on the balustrade at the very top of the hall, the sounds swirled down on us. A special experience!
The spectacular opening of the buffet with mini Smørrebrod snacks did not miss its effect!
Wednesday August 28
Ever heard of the shouting choir Tinnitus? The least you can say about it is that it has not missed its effect.
Very interesting was the presentation of Mikkel Ploug: Unexpected findings of harmony. He hears always music in someone’s speaking. More information http://www.mikkelploug.com/ He edited the welcome speech by Johan Sundberg and Markus Hess and has put a guitar accompaniment under it. Check it out on YouTube, its worth it.
After the super interesting Key Note presentation by Boris Kleber: What goes on inside the brain of singers, Jeannette LoVetri gave a workshop What is free singing? Why is it necessary? According to her, In Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) direct intervention in the throat as a means to belting or other sounds found in rock, pop, gospel, R&B, blues and country music is not only unnecessary, it is counter indicated if the artist is to breathe easily and sing with true expressive freedom and uniqueness.
Jacob Lieberman gave then a very impressive presentation: Sorting out the confusion between Circumlaryngeal none specific massage and the application of osteopathic principles as performed by trained manual therapists. Many approaches to treating voice symptoms are described on the market, yet most of them are only called osteopathic techniques and are lacking a comprehensive approach namely a diagnostic procedure, function diagnosis and specific treatment plan. Very happy that I have seen that! Some “therapists” promote themselves online to singers, without any good knowledge, calling themselves osteopaths or healers of voice problems through the laying on of hands and "massage" from the throat area, some people pay a lot then have no results. Lieberman then showed some real cases of solving voice problems through real voice osteopathy.
In the afternoon I followed several presentations on air flow and SOVT research such as Flow ball (Johan Sundberg and Filipa Lã) and resonance tube Phonation in water. Phonating with the flow ball requires airflows superior to 0.2 L/s in order to lift up the ball, thus creating an immediate memory for less glottal resistance during phonation. Lifting of the ball and its maintenance in the air promote kinesthetic awareness: flow and pressure are different dimensions, in that they can be changed separately.
After the coffee break Louisa Traser presented Sex-related differences in diaphragm and ribcage movements during phonation of professional singers - a dynamic MRI study. Differences in the respiratory strategies during singing phonation between male and female singers were discussed for a long time. In the study male singers presented a continuous movement of the ribcage during maximum phonation time and used approx. 90% of intra individual Vital Capacity movement, while female singers hold their RC more stable especially in the beginning of phonation and used only less than 60% of their possible RC VC movement. In contrast, during phonation of pitch jumps, diaphragm movement range was greater in female singers compared to male. Female singers concentrated breath efforts lower in the body than did male. Further studies with more subjects are required to underline the assumption. The author presented a video of the MRI images of the moving diaphragm.
Due to the overlap in presentations, I was too late to enter for the Management of Globus Sensation round table.
I then joined the workshop of Susan Yarnall Monks Colour and timbre: educating a singer's vocal perception. Colour and timbre in singing sound is sometimes difficult to explain to students. By letting them experiment with visual imagery, colour cards, word patterns, poetry and movement, Susan tries to improve sound palette and imagination and clearer understanding of consonants and vowel subtleties.
The crowded day ended with a few CoMet presentations such as Difficult singer’s personalities and how to deal with them (Jacob Lieberman and Markus Hess) and To sing or not to sing? “The “Hamletic approach" of Theatre Physicians (Orietta Calcinoni)
Thursday August 29
Day 2 started with Teaching singing with natural body movements. Practical exercises combining singing and body movements to improve and facilitate the singing process by Pirjo Nenonen. The idea is based on vocal pedagogy, combined with natural body movements and on pedagogies by Émile Jagues-Dalcroze and Rudolf von Laban. A holistic approach that has already proven its worth. Nothing new but always good to remember.
The following presentation was cancelled (The ribcage as pressure equalizer)
Singing is an unnatural act a saying from Jo Estill immediately set the tone to illustrate the value of this method. Dorte Hyldstrup gave us a quick overview but having only 25 minutes to explain a whole life's work puts a lot of pressure on the presenter, who therefore had to skip entire parts.
The key note presentation by Kristin Linklater The embodied voice was simply impressive. Kristin is a word artist of the English language and a voice artist with very clear key words: body, breath and spine. A 45-minute-long, never annoying monologue was woven around it, usually without but sometimes using the microphone. Add to this the presence on the stage, the flow and the carrying capacity of the voice and you will understand that she had a standing ovation that lasted for minutes.
After the coffee break, Susan Yarnall Monks invited Sarah Algoet and myself to talk about the EVTA Voice Clinic which is useful at major choir festivals as Europa Cantat and the World Choir games. Susan pointed out the several “Ten Tips” which are on the EVTA website.
The problem is, that after a presentation or workshop, people want to talk to you and have more explanation, so that time passes quickly and it is no longer possible to follow another presentation from the beginning.
After lunch and the poster presentations, the Brian Gill Masterclass introduced us to a very talented young singer with a beautiful noble voice in a Schubert song. It is always interesting to see another teacher at work and to see new exercises that can help make the voice freer.
Friday August 30
A Pevoc morning song at 8:15 was written for the participants on the O sole mio melody with verses for every group of participants as Scientists, Singers, Phonosurgeons, Speech therapists, Singing teachers etc. This was fun!
I attended thereafter a workshop by Kim Chandler Harmony concepts in vocal exercises. She gave us the website address where all those exercises can be found.
Kenneth Bozeman’s presentation Vowel migration and modification: Pedagogic implications of Howell’s Absolute Spectral Tone Color Theory was highly interesting. A difficult matter was explained in a simple way. More subjects could be presented like this one for, among others, singing teachers, who in this way will become much more interested in voice science.
If you are learned but amusing and you have the gift to give people a clear explanation about difficult matters such as the voice, then your name may be Per-Åke Lindestad. In his lecture The voice of Experience: Relative Truths and Myths about the voice he had several guests such as Johan Sundberg who gave their opinion on parts of his subjects.
After the coffee break the workshop Pedagogy for the mature female voice by Rebecca Moseley Morgan gave us an overview of opportunities to work with aging women in an encouraging way. Nothing new but pretty practical.
In this multicultural and multilingual time, it is useful to sing and communicate together in an alternative way. In her presentation/ workshop Singing and speaking with an open mind towards Time, Style and Culture, Malene Bichel gave us some examples. She did this in a very inspiring way in gibberish. With some objects such as a scarf or a belt in different colours you can have a whole song of conversations in this way.
After lunch followed the EVTA Masterclass and the round table Flexibility and hearing in voice production in different singing styles. Susan Yarnall Monks, Gillyanne Kayes and Sarah Algoet gave lessons in different singing styles.
The round table (Chair Lieve Jansen) dealt with various questions with the 8 panel members who had different voice-related professions such as voice teachers, ENT physician, speech therapist and osteopath.
After the last coffee break, David Howard gave an unsurpassed brilliant Key note presentation about In tune with pitch
The closing ceremony was graced by a boys' choir (13-15 years old) who had already completed their voice mutation. Their jazzy interpretation was much appreciated by those present.
With the closing words by Jenny Iwarsson and Markus Hess, this very successful Pevoc edition ended. The next Pevoc (2021) will take place in Tallinn. It will be difficult to choose because ICVT will also take place in Vienna in the same month.
With this Pevoc edition it was striking that there were many more singers and singing teachers than in previous editions. They also gave presentations and workshops. This proves that artistic experience of the singing voice and interest in the science of the voice can go together perfectly.