"It's as though we are imagining the sound of our voice as physical stuff we are manipulating." Listen to Jeremy Fisher, Gillyanne Kayes, and Steven Connor demonstrate and discuss the prosody of a laugh, the distinction between healthy and unhealthy vocal creaking (fry), and the dynamics—and difficulties—of Hillary Clinton's oratory. And if you're so inclined, try out a series of voice training exercises from Fisher's and Kayes' new book, This is a Voice.
Ken Barrie has passed away, aged 83. Ken voiced many of the characters on the TV series Postman Pat, and sang the famous theme tune [alternative: 1, 2, 3] (released as a single, it charted for 15 weeks). Barrie also sang the soundtrack for Charlie Chalk and recorded the soundtracks for Sharks' Treasure and Emily, as well as singing, whistling and narrating in various movies and commercials. Barrie also recorded music under the name Les Carle.
Can a Woman’s Voice Ever Be Right? "From the Roman Forum to the 2016 campaign trail, anxiety over what women sound like is part of our cultural DNA."
interviewing.io is a platform where people can practice technical interviewing anonymously and find jobs based on their interview performance. Women historically haven’t performed as well as men—specifically, men were getting advanced to the next round 1.4 times more often than women, and had a 20% higher average technical score from interviewers. In an attempt to erase this difference, interviewing.io added voice modulation to their online interviews.
A translator must naturally take certain liberties with other people’s words in order to wrest the most truth into the text. In this essay on translation, composed strictly of quotations, I have taken the liberty of replacing select words and phrases with “translation,” “translator,” and the various verb forms of “translate.” I have also committed untold infidelities.[more inside]
"I found this song I started working on last year before I started hormones, and I decided to sing a duet with my Pre T self." [more inside]
The Vocoder was invented at Bell Labs in 1939 to transmit voice data, rather than to make rock musicians sound like robots. It could also do much more interesting things to your voice.
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At the tone the time will be...
At the tone the time will be...
Polyphonic overtone singing - Anna-Maria Hefele. "Overtone singing is a voice technique where it seems like one person sings two notes at the same time. You can sing the overtone scale on one fundamental. Another fundamental has its own overtone scale, so in order to have more overtones to sing nice melodies, you can use different fundamentals and change them while singing." [more inside]
Modeltalker has been around since at least the early 90s ... Modeltalker is a company that, for free, provides people with a synthetic version of their own voice and the software that lets users convert any text they want into that voice. It is continually updating it's software and in beta stages. But for people with onset neurological diseases that threaten to rob them of the ability to speak, Modeltalker will provide them with an 1800 word list to read. From that list, it will deliver a software program that contains their voice, the software and the tools to adjust the voice to make it as natural as possible. At some point, the company will make it product public. There are many synthetic voice programs, but only Modeltalker can make a synthetic voice out of your voice. For now, people can get a free version.
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape". [more inside]
"The world turns softly / Not to spill its lakes and rivers. / The water is held in its arms / And the sky is held in the water."
Three Nightsongs is a lovely choral work by Joshua Shank that puts three writings by the child-poet Hilda Conkling to music: Evening, Moon Song, and Water.
Singer Kelly Hogan has a reputation as a journeyman, someone who's worked for years to master the craft but has yet to make a mark of her own. That may change with her new album, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain. Here are some songs: 1 2 3 4 5. [more inside]
The changing prominence of the contralto. While female contralto pop and jazz singers can be heard on just about every i-device and radio station in the United States and Europe, their classical counterparts are increasingly rare in today's opera, concert, and radio programming. [more inside]
If people thought Apple's voice assistant Siri was conservative, then Iris, a similar feature for Android (which uses the search engine ChaCha), will blow their mind.
"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."
The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
Actor, comedian, and mimicry expert Michael Winslow delivers a mesmerizing performance in the twenty-minute video "The History of the Typewriter recited by Michael Winslow", produced by Spanish artist Ignacio Uriarte. A review of the work, by frieze, provides thoughtful review. [via] [previously]
Adam Savage of Mythbusters (Mefi's Own) on Minnesota public radio singing "I Will Survive" in the voice of Gollum with Neil Gaiman in attendance.
"For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one." -Christopher Hitchens tries to come to terms with the loss of his voice. [more inside]
How to do accents. Gareth Jameson has made a number of videos on how to do different accents: Russian, German, Spanish, and more. Some of his accents are better(?*) than others. Some are terrible. If all else fails, he can at least teach you to yodel. [more inside]
"Voice of San Diego reporter Adrian Florido set out to find a family, he writes, "whose experience could illustrate the day-to-day challenge for Burmese refugees" in San Diego, since "more than 200 Burmese families have arrived [in that city] since 2006." In the process, Florido met a 24-year-old man named Har Sin" who was unable to hear, speak, read, write or use sign language, and wound up writing a two-part story about him: In a New Land, Hoping to Hear and Breaking Free of a Life Without Language. The story is available as a downloadable pdf: A Silent Journey Series. / Via The Kicker, the daily blog of the Columbia Journalism Review [more inside]
Dame Joan Sutherland has died at the age of 83. One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance as Alcina. She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, "pin point staccatos, a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, although music critics often complained about the imprecision of her diction. Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the "Voice of the Century", while Montserrat Caballé described the Australian's voice as being like "heaven".
The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping). The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
New York voice teacher Claudia Friedlander provides a classical analysis of 5 male heavy metal singers.
Miss those knee-slapper Bushisms? The same technology that will give cancer-stricken Roger Ebert back his voice can be used to generate the voice of Dubya through the magic of Bush-o-matic.
Speech impediments mostly afflict boys. Often with pushy fathers. Social media is giving them a voice.
A big, blunt woman with a wicked sense of humor, Ms. Nilsson brooked no interference from Wagner's powerful and eventful orchestra writing. When she sang Isolde or Brünnhilde, her voice pierced through and climbed above it. [more inside]
Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.
"The ability to convey the depths of despair, the heights of jubilation and the serenity of an abiding faith are all that is required to be known as “The Voice.” Unfortunately, very few possess the ability to do all that and what’s more unfortunate, we lost one of those few–possibly the best of those few–with the death of Vern Gosdin at the age of 74." [more inside]
Said to be the busiest actor in Hollywood -- ever, Don LaFontaine was this generation's most prolific announcer, in the traditional sense of the word, lending his voice to all the major American television networks, and redefining the movie trailer. LaFontaine has died of complications from a collapsed lung at 68. [more inside]
"Why (For) Pat Carroll wasn't actually Disney's first choice to voice Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid'? The casting story of one of Disney's most delightful demons.
Decades of cartoons and movie previews have desensitized us to the art of the voice-over. For decades, the movies, cartoons, and commercials we watch have been given life by a relatively small group of extremely talented and prolific voices.
Mexican government bans American Catholics who sued Mexico City Prelate The Mexican government took the unprecedented and controversial step of banning Dave Clohessy of SNAP and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer specializing in abuse cases, from entering the country for five years. The men had filed a lawsuit against Mexico City Archbishop Norbeto Rivera, who they allege covered up sex abuse in his diocese.
Sonic Postcards - winner of the New Statesman New Media Award. Explore sound. Via the Sonic Arts Network, UK exponents of Electroacoustic music.
Mona Lisa's voice finally heard. Even if you can't read Japanese, you can still click the buttons underneath each portrait to get playback. Works with Internet Explorer. Suzuki — a co-winner of the Ig Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for promoting harmony between species by inventing the Bow-Lingual, a dog-to-human interpretation device — undertook the project as part of activities promoting the Japan release of the movie "The Da Vinci Code."
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