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Voice is the original instrument

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The singer Joan La Barbara's career as a composer, performer, and sound artist has been devoted to exploring the human voice as a multifaceted instrument, going beyond its traditional boundaries to create works for voices, instruments, and interactive technologies. As a pioneer in the field of contemporary classical music and sound art, she has developed a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, including the multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, and glottal clicks that have become her signature sounds. Tracing her development as a performer and composer, La Barbara discusses her collaborations with American composers including John Cage, Morton Fieldman, Alvin Lucier, Morton Subotnick, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich, and describes the musical world of New York in the 1970s.
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Keywords: New York school; extended techniques; minimalism; performance art; technology; vocal music

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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