What does a ‘voice to be heard’ mean? Type, frequency, timbre, invisible, ignored or getting across a message driven?
Voice timbre is not an affectation. You can mimic style for a short while. But your everyday voice presentation is there for all to hear. Monotonous or vibrant? Deeper voice? Lighter voice? Shout out voice? Whispery voice? A voice that can produce a well delivered ‘Sssshhh’……..and the room goes quiet.
The Philosophy of ‘Why a voice is important?’ It’s to push a message. If a Video/Audio ambition here on WordPress has to have any success? Record it first thing in the morning when relaxation of the vocal chords are at their peak. Later? Life hits your reactionary response buttons and you become Donald Duck. The true meaning of listened to voice? It is to relax peoples’ fractious senses. Can you imagine listening to a continual high end top note frequency voice narrating an audio book and truly feel you could hunker down, chill and finish the book listened to? Nah! It has to have balance. Characterisation. A combination of everyday expectation. High and low frequency. Loud and quiet volumes. Cultural warm or cold tones. What and how do we listen to in someone’s voice delivery when we are focussing upon escapism? Upon learning. Upon connections as friends.
Relaxation. Meditation. Mindfulness and similar relaxation techniques on YouTube/CD listening. These voices are set at specific resonance/timbre in order to assist well being. Escapism. I write songs in certain keys in recognition of historical tried and trusted musical or vocal styles that suit the situation. An instant style that suits your own response. Voices that provide gentle experiences and complete acceptance? My favourites? Ian McShane’s, as Lovejoy, voice. Well his voice in anything really. Richard Briers voice is opposite, but equally calming in its recognition of ‘I trust it’. Deep and light but both satisfying. Akin to a Mother singing her infant to sleep has a higher frequency, yet soft and yielding. Or a Father or Grandfather ‘song sing whispering’ a deep Buddhist ‘Om’ chant. Yup! Guilty! Voice matters in the situation it is used for. That this heard and considered resonance voice is going to carry your anxiety to deep welcomed dream state and ultimate escapism and to heal you to the culmination of realising ultimate well being. Learning. A lecturer who stimulates with interesting delivery. As a teacher I both failed and succeeded in this. No techniques. Just fair exchange between myself and my students.
Myself, if alone? I hum lower tunes of ‘I was born under a wandering star’ by Lee Marvin level. It vibrates my holistic biological, psychological and social ‘me time’ body into total meltdown and ultimately into an ever and welcoming lessening to my anxiety mode. When I listen to both Female and Male voices to seek inner calm, it always has lower frequency. Same as my picking up my guitar and strumming, with singing gentle harmony alongside, a beautiful well known musical chord. Hit a low ‘E’ chord, or, at a push maybe, “A” chord and you instantly have the World listening. It’s called Rock and Roll. You just dance from the word, or chord strummed, GO! Strum a ‘D’ chord and the World recognise a song that may be interesting. It just has to follow up with an insightful sing along tune.
With voice in mind I bought this book from Amazon after reading this review quote.
“In other words, the vocalic immediately communicates the uniqueness of the speaker without recourse to the signifying content of his or her speech. The voice is essentially relational—a relation that is described as “the condition of every communication. . . . the communicability of the com- municable, or the significance of signification”
For More Than One Voice: Toward a Philosophy of Vocal Expression Paperback 31 Jan. 2005 by Adriana Cavarero (Author), Paul A. Kottman (Translator)
Why? I am interested in how people have the ability to verbally and vocally challenge peoples’ thinking by how we portray and express our own values, beliefs, thoughts and opinions. We either win people over. Or project a persona of ‘Not worth listening to’. Generic intrinsic or learnt failure before we start persistence in wanting to be heard/listened to? Or re-learning how to change how you present yourself to being someone who can, by default, actually express inner strong belief agenda. Own your beliefs and project them with your own unique voice, which massively positively expresses your thoughts and their content, whatever they include in their meanderings, expressions or inherent beliefs. Your voice can betray you. Stumbling in it’s belief it has no credence and no strength in purpose. In your speaking out to people, you ‘let your guard down’ through insecurity of inner confidence in expressing your valued opinions. You know and believe in them. But you simply cannot express.
All of these reflections on ‘voice’? For myself it is extremely revealing…….you know and understand the inner YOU……which can ultimately dictate how others perceive you. If you perceive or actually believe that you have no voice to carry the message of how you want to expound your thoughts and stories. You will fail to truly communicate. WHY? Because you have already determined how people will judge you and your thoughts/stories. It may be by the way you have witnessed past reactions and how you are still being received in the present. Or it may be in the awareness that this is something new that you are now aware of and you will ultimately stutter in expressing yourself.
The answer? As Rumi says
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
9 thoughts on “The Phenomenon that is Your Voice.”
Interesting thoughts Gray. I hadn’t given much thought to voice in the way you mean here, but it makes so much sense. What I have learned from reading is that the voice sounds better when it’s rested, which makes sense. As a teacher/lecturer it’s important to look after our voice, to rest the vocal chords and drink plenty of water so we don’t give ourselves problems – straining our vocal chords or even developing nodules. I have a colleague/friend who suffers quite badly and can end up in pain by the end of term. Our voice is a powerful tool if used wisely, but we need to care for it too, not taking it for granted. I’d think even more so for musicians 🙂
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Forever playing gigs and elongated recording sessions in the studio took its toll when you didn’t look after your voice. Teaching? I only taught part time and no hardship on the vocal chords there at all. The timbre and rhythms of voice for gaining receptive listening, if future podcasts are to be realised, is something that is fascinating. A voice that is owned and actually being listened to? That must be a fantastic feeling. I tend to just get on with life and become an active worker. I do exchange. But don’t initiate to engage. If a conversation exists I’d rather urge someone to tell me their story than proffer up my own. I suppose that is what nursing was about. A voice that contained the character to carry sympathy, empathy and encouragement to open up. To get responses being the holy grail.
Definitely getting people to open up and share is a skill, one I do try to use in the classroom.
I found the educational setting more lively for learning. Feedback and contribution were positive. The ward could be a more difficult scenario. Especially males. We (males) often don’t share thoughts and worries when illness takes hold. I looked at that in sociology when in nurse training. So it was an advantage being a male for them to open up more. Empathy when able to share similar symptoms. Understanding, by being a ‘bloke’, when not.
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Fascinating topic. Sadly, few consider their voice when speaking. Completely unintentional, it is easy to project condescendence or hostility when neither are present. I’m guilty of projecting the wrong voice, often it arises from experience brought about by frustration or ignorance.
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Spot on Danny. I used to find frustration in others’ response and attitude to their own health matters. Had to smile and encourage outwardly when inside felt like walking away. A nurse once told me that it was no use trying to ‘fix’ every patient yourself. That is not what a nurse does. It was a combination of fair exchange and recognising realistic outcomes. Some patients defied all odds and were mesmerising in their positive attitude. Expert patients we named them. Others used to simply sit with their conditions and fret endlessly. Either way, we continued to support and work alongside patients in swapping ambitions and aims. Interesting answer Danny.
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My realization occurred when a colleague whom I’ve never met told me they had heard I was condescending. To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement. I always viewed my interactions to help people understand the “why” opposed to simply “because.” Much like your advice some people just don’t want to know. I try to be empathetic to how I speak to others. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I do not. If I unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings and that is the worst thing to happen to them, they have lived a charmed life.
Some professional relationships get on like a house on fire and some do not. We all spoke of the shift patterns where the occasion occurs that you know a really decent day lay ahead. Others where you know it is going to be a difficult one. I did doctors’ ward rounds that I both loved and dreaded. Shared knowledge and guidance in a kind way was wonderful. Being looked at like you were a complete inferior? Not so much. Thank heavens for retirement and my life back. 😆 You Yourself are the former in our exchanges. All the best Danny.
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Oh! Came back to your comment Brenda. Thought of ‘confidence‘. Your own reflections and advice re: teaching philosophy is extremely insightful and full of confident content. When you stand in front of your class I should imagine a strong sound knowledge base for delivery is present. Teacher training showed students who lacked that quality and it extended into their vocal delivery when standing and presenting micro lessons in front of class. Practice and nurturing their, mine too, ongoing skills was a fascinating developmental process from teacher and cohort peer support. Cheers.