Audrey Chen with Phil Minton in Houston, January 27

Source: Nameless Sound.

Nameless Sound presents
Saturday, January 27
at Chelsea Market Theater
4617 Montrose Blvd.

It is thought by some that the immediacy of improvisation allows for a more direct communication between performer and audience, an expression unmediated and unhindered by predetermined compositional concerns. But the instrument also mediates musical communication. And vocal improvisation, without the shield or veil of an instrument, can sometimes feel like the most direct and immediate of improvisational expressions. Though abstract, wordless vocal improvisation can feel strangely intimate, especially when sound and texture are emphasized over pitch and melody. These sounds may be uncomfortably and humorously familiar. And though there may be no words (and few melodies) to narrate meaning, we might find something unexpectedly funny (in spite of the lack of humor) or poignantly sad (in spite of the lack of pathos). Something may strike us as grotesque, though no decorum has been offended. Maybe even more than dance, this is an art form that emphasizes the immediacy of the body. These intimately familiar sounds come from inside of the body. And for many vocal improvisers, it is not only the voice that is emphasized. It’s the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat as well. This is abstract sound made from the organs responsible for our most direct and emotional communication.

A Feral Choir is an improvisational ensemble often consisting of people who have never performed before as vocalists. It works on a principle that “anyone who can breathe, is capable of producing sounds that give a positive aesthetic contribution to the human condition and many of these contributions are without any cultural influences or references.”