COMPOSITION
BY CAMERON TOMAN

FEATURING THE VOICES OF LAITH AQEL, LEENA ASFOUR, BOUTHAYNA BALTAJI, JUAN FELIPE BELTRAN, JESSICA BOREN, CLAUDIA CARRASCO VALDICH, J. MARTIN DAUGHTRY, MICHELLE DENT, EMILY EAGEN, ERIC JOHNSON, RALEIGH LOGAN, ERIN MEEKHOF, VIVEK MUKHERJEE, SAMER NEHME, IRENE PAÑEDA FERNANDEZ, CAMERON TOMAN, YANNICK TRAPMAN-O’BRIEN, AND JORGE ZARATE RODRIGUEZ

In the Human Voice class, we explore the significance of the voice in different cultural and historical contexts, including the context of our own classroom. We do this through reading, analysis and discussion, but also, occasionally, through composition and performance. One day a few weeks ago, after we had recorded a piece we were working on, we decided to each produce a vocal sound that we had never produced before. The eighteen “new vocalizations,” one from each member of the class, were then broken up into eighteen individual sound files and placed on our course website. Class members have begun using these sounds as the raw material for vocal compositions. In this piece, by our academic coach Cameron Toman, they are the only sounds utilized–they have been layered, organized, and amplified, but not altered in any other way. The movement begins with introductions to the new vocalizations and then builds to complicated, multi-vocal overlays. Several times all of the voices are layered directly on top of one another—producing a new, collective vocal sound. The piece is a playful mash-up of non-linguistic vocalizations and an attempt to render the voice, that most familiar of human attributes, deeply and productively strange.

Click on the link below.

New Vocalizations

Cameron Toman is the academic coach for “The Human Voice” at NYU Abu Dhabi. He recently graduated from NYU New York, where double-majored in Political Science and Psychology.

J. Martin Daughtry is Assistant Professor of Music at NYU New York. An ethnomusicologist, he has published articles on Russian national anthems, uncensored media in the late Soviet period, and the intermedial translation of poetry into song. He is working on a book-length investigation of the sonic dimension of the ongoing conflict in Iraq. At NYUAD, he is teaching the Fall 2010 class “The Human Voice” and the Spring 2011 class “Translation as Multimedia Practice and Metaphor.”

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