Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2057-0341
  • E-ISSN: 2057-035X



This article explores vocalist and composer Joan La Barbara’s use of extended vocal technique, and its implications for imagining new kinds of ethical and political relationality with the voice. Focusing on her earliest composition, ‘Voice Piece: One-note internal resonance investigation’ (first premiered in 1974), the article examines her compositional process, tracking its development in the American experimental music tradition, and its relationship to improvisation and embodiment. Working outside of language and celebrating unconventional vocalizations, La Barbara’s music thrives on the dynamics of vocal discovery and mystery, realigning the voice away from customary modes of subjecthood based on speech and paralinguistic primary attributes, and towards a posthumanist vocality that does not seek to resolve all elements of foreignness. Drawing on theories from philosophers like Jacques Rancière and Judith Butler, the political and ethical concerns of the voice are re-examined within the locus of extended vocal technique as seen through La Barbara’s example.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error