exploring_the_voice is a collection of exercises for the main human sound production apparatus, the voice. each exercise (or combination of exercises) can be practiced alone or in front of/together with other people. because many of the exercises explore extremely quiet sounds, amplifi­cation might be needed if they are to be presented to an audience.

explore the potential (in)expressivity of nasal breathing. try different rhythms, articulations, loudnesses, and timbres.


breathe through the mouth and explore the different sounds of different mouth shapes.

tight mouth shapes might produce varying chaotic squeaks. try to focus on them, listening to the random melodies being produced.

produce a creaky voice by singing while inhaling. explore what is in-between breathing (also exhaling) and vocal sounds.


squeaky chaotic "saliva" pitch sequences, sometimes of several independent voices and in differ­ent registers, can be produced by slightly covering the lower teeth with the lower lips and biting them gently with the upper teeth. varying the extent to which the lower teeth are cov­ered by the lower lips and the upper teeth bite them will change the resulting sounds.

try to create the illusion of a squeak-sequence that never stops.


focus on any phonemes of any language and explore different (even subtle) variants of them.

somewhere between s and sh high whistles start to shine. search for them.

sustained k- and x-sounds (as in seek and suchen) can produce rich textures and sound­scapes. vary your mouth shape while exploring them. try to create seamless (at least per­ceptually) transitions from k to x and vice-versa.

explore th-sounds (as in think). sustain the sound but let it change and morph naturally to other sounds. squeaks may appear as well as high whistles.

create (fast) irregular sequences of plosives and short sounds.

whisper and speak. try different speeds and explore different degrees of intelligibility.


explore fragile and unstable vocalizations, especially at the extremes of your voice, but not only.

try to change your mouth shape while vocalizing and explore how different resonance frequencies are emphasized

(in case of amplification)

explore audio feedback. learn to control it using different incoming signals and output levels, and explore effects ranging from mild coloration of the input to clear, sustained pitches.

generate audio feedback by almost swallowing the microphone. the feedback frequency will be affected by your mouth shape.

sound examples of single exercises and combinations of exercises, recorded with a Zoom H5 very close to my mouth and colored with what i call distortedZoomH5, are included in the playlist below (because the gain was not set to maximum, distortedZoomH5 is denoted there by “dZH5v1” instead of “dZH5”). the examples serve as a reference to the exercises and complement them.

exploring_the_voice was used in HKV_etv_dZH5_stR-KnK, etv-HK_Rg, 24d24iS_esO4bsPSpbVRssS2-EPB, and MUSIC FOR ONESELF v2.

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