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The Colors of the human voice: rediscovery​​​

  • What are the real sound production capabilities of the human voice?

  • How can we expand the technical component of choral singing?

  • What can we observe, learn and possibly borrow from world's diverse singing practices?

  • How feasible are vocal extended techniques in a choir?

In his lecture the Armenian-Canadian composer, conductor and experimental vocalist Vahram Sargsyan is going to observe the human voice from a novel perspective by presenting and demonstrating many extended vocal possibilities deriving both from ancient music traditions throughout the globe and from his own research and exploration. He will discuss many non conventional singing techniques and features such as:

  • Throat singing styles

  • Vocal fry, whistle register, M4 register etc.

  • Ingressive singing possibilities

  • Some vocal percussion tips

  • Multiphonics etc.

The lecture will also focus on problems of implementation of some extended techniques in the choir as well as some difficulties and possible obstacles during the learning process.  

Vahram Sargsyan (*1981) (Sarkissian) is an Armenian Canadian composer, conductor and experimental vocalist living in Montreal, Canada. His chamber, choral and vocal works have been widely performed across Europe, Asia and North America. His style represents a multicultural 'palette' of sounds and creative ideas influenced by numerous traditions and practices spanning from V century Armenian medieval chants to previously unreported endogenous vocal extended techniques. As an experimental vocalist he developed a distinct vocal identity with a rich assortment of techniques and several signature sound production methods.

Sargsyan's studies include degree in composition (with A. Zohrabyan) and choral conducting (with T. Hekekyan) at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory in Armenia as well as а graduate degree in composition at McGill University with Philippe Leroux. His arrangement of an Armenian ancient chant Great Mystery has been included in the Oxford University Press anthology World Carols for Choirs and has been recorded by BBC Singers. His instrumental work Hunting the Hunter was premiered in 2012 at Carnegie Hall under his own baton. His honors include many international and national awards in USA, Canada, Croatia and Armenia. Radio Canada, OUP, NDR, Boston Choral Ensemble, The Esoterics are among the commissioners of Sargsyan's music. He is also active as a choral conductor.

Bio en CAT

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