Call for contributions TDPT 10.3: What is New in Voice Training?

Special issue entitled What is New in Voice Training? To be published in TDPT Vol 10.3 (September 2019)

Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editor

Guest edited by Konstantinos Thomaidis, University of Exeter (K.Thomaidis@exeter.ac.uk).

 

Background and context

This will be the 11th Special Issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) following issues on a range of topics including sport, politics, Feldenkrais, writing training, interculturalism and digital training. TDPT is an international journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. The journal was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership is both academic and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance and live art who have an interest in and curiosity for reflecting on their practices and their training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Call Outline: What is New in Voice Training?

Voice has returned to academic discourse with renewed force. 20th-century philosophical and critical debates may have generated important questions around speech, vocality and listening (particularly through the works of Lacan, Derrida, Merleau-Ponty, Ihde, Barthes and Kristeva), but the first two decades of the 21st century have witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of publications taking voice as their main area of enquiry (see Connor, Cavarero, Dolar, Neumark, among others). In the same period, a similar plurality marked the way voice is practised in performance, particularly in its entanglement with new media, new scenic and everyday architectures as well as new hybrid genres and aesthetics. The emergent field of voice studies situates itself at the juncture of these practical and theoretical advances and advocates for research in and through voice that is markedly praxical, international and interdisciplinary in scope.

In bringing the concerns of this new inter-discipline to bear on performance studies, this issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training proposes a timely re-examination of voice in performer training. The literature on voice and the pedagogy of performance is, of course, vast. In the case of singing, it is largely dominated by paradigms appropriate for operatic and musical theatre performance. In the case of speech training, areas that have been systematically explored include the pedagogies developed by an influential generation of mid-twentieth-century, UK- and US-based speech trainers—and, to a lesser extent, the voice practices pertaining to (post)Grotowskian lineages or integrating first-wave somatics into voice work. While drawing impetus from these significant insights, the purpose of this special issue is to lend an attentive ear to emergent or less widely circulated training methodologies and to chart the rapidly shifting landscape of voice training.

 In other words, it wishes to ask: What is new in voice training?

The term ‘new’ is not taken here as an exclusively present-orientated delineation; rather, it is intended as a generative provocation. In this light, potential contributors are invited to engage with topics and questions such as:

 

·      New practices: What are the new approaches to voice, speech and singing training currently in the making? How do they depart from or extend current conceptualisations of voicing? Which performance contexts are they designed for? How are they taught, recorded, written about and transmitted?

·      New documents: Which practices of voice training have not been systematically documented and disseminated? Which non-Anglophone practices have received less critical attention and how can new translations or archives engage us in dialogue with them? What is the place of the ‘document’ in practice-as-research approaches to voice pedagogy?

·      The new voice coach: Which are the new exigencies placed on coaches today? What challenges do they face? Which methodologies have been developed in response? How is voice training conducted beyond the studio, through Skype lessons, MOOCs and other interactive platforms? What is the impact of neoliberal economics on the way voice training is currently conducted?

·      New contexts: How is voice training taking into consideration gender, class and ethnic diversity? How is the pedagogy of speech and song responding to neurodiverse trainees? How are interdisciplinary performers, such as speaking dancers or intermedia artists, trained in voice work? How is training originally developed for artistic performance adapted in contemporary oratory, advertising, sport, teaching, community or health work?

·      New criticalities: Which emergent critical methodologies can we deploy to critique voice training or to generate new approaches? How can voice training embrace ecocritical or new materialist strategies? What is the place of the expanding corpus of vocal philosophy in the studio?

·      New histories, new lineages: What does new archival research reveal about the lineages and historic practices of voice training? How is the history of voice training rewritten? How are premodern forms of voice training revitalised in contemporary performer training?

·      Re-newing voice training: How are existing systems, exercises and practices reconfigured in new settings? How can we re-evaluate the foundational premises of voice training through recent discoveries in physiology and advances in critical theory? In what ways are such methods hybridised, repurposed, recycled, rethought?

To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue please contact Konstantinos Thomaidis for an initial exchange of ideas/thoughts or email an abstract or proposal (max 300 words) at k.thomaidis@exeter.ac.uk. Please consider the range of possibilities available within TDPT: Essays and Sources up to 6500 words; photo essays; shorter, more speculative, essais up to 3000 words and postcards (up to 200 words). All contributors could extend their work through links to blog materials (including, for example, film footage or interviews). Questions about purely digital propositions can be sent directly to James McLaughlin at jimmyacademy@gmail.com along with ideas for the blog. Firm proposals across all areas must be received by Konstantinos Thomaidis by 30 January 2018 at the latest.

 

The issue schedule is as follows:

 Autumn 2017: Call for papers published

30 January 2018: abstracts and proposals sent to Konstantinos Thomaidis

May 2018: Response from editor and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution

June to End October 2018: writing/preparation period for writers, artists etc.

Start November to end January 2019: peer review period

January 2019 – end May 2019: author revisions post peer review

End June 2019: All articles into production with Routledge

July-August 2019: typesetting, proofing, revises, editorial etc.

September 2019: publication as Issue 10.3.

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