This was probably the most unusual and certainly the one of most participative meetings of the last few years, much to the surprise of many of the attendees. After a brief introduction of our facilitator Carolien Fleumer, we found ourselves spread across the meetingroom, seated on the floor, loosening our spines and learning to breathe. The evening evolved under the guidance of Carolien, professional voice- and songteacher, who had us using body and breath to create sound and express feeling. All this was done in a very “non-classic” way, in a workshop method developed by Carolien during her own journey through learning about the meaning of sound.
Individually, in pairs and in groups we explored different aspects of controlling breath and voice and also in letting go of control, allowing others to conduct us in a spontaneous and improvised performance. The results brought laughter of pure enjoyment, as well as giggles of embarassment as we all tried to put our inhibitions away.
A discussion arose at one point about the different ways in which we all perceive voice as a tool for communicating. It was very clear that each individual uses both speaking and listening skills in a highly personalized way. This was a topic that elicited varied opinions, but could not be further explored in the workshop format.
Many of us who went to the meeting thinking “well, she’s not going to get ME to sing….after all I’m tonedeaf!” were amazed to find ourselves part of a choir singing catchy rounds and three part harmony. It was a truly different experience.