The voice

When I was in speech therapy as a child, one of the methods used while learning how to speak was to put my finger on my throat, where the larynx or voice box, is, and feel the vibration as I speak. Being able to tell the difference between men, mat, mess, miss, mister, missus, etc. Mum versus Pop. What gets vibration and what doesn’t get vibration. I still touch my throat from time to time, just out of curiosity.

I recently went to see a local Queen cover band. Freddie Mercury was one of my favourite singers. In fact, my current painting is somewhat an homage to him. I wanted to check out this band, because I could only imagine it would be hard to do a good Freddie impersonation. The band, Stone Cold Crazy, was fronted by a female singer,Tania Gosgnach. Just before their set, she had sung with Moonage Daydream, a David Bowie cover band, so she’d had a long night. I watched her sing, paying particular attention to her throat. I can’t speak for her, but judging from her throat, it must be quite stressful for the vocal chords. She pretty much nailed it until her voice cracked during one of the last songs.

I started thinking about the voice box after that. How it works. The muscles, nerves, ligaments, etc, involved. It really is an amazing thing. I really cannot hear my own voice the way you hear it. I don’t know if it’s loud or soft, if it’s high pitched, medium or low pitched. I do know I can’t sing worth a penny.

I wanted to do a MRI of speech in action, but unfortunately the grant doesn’t cover the cost of doing a scan. Luckily, though, there are several MRI videos on youtube, so here’s one that intrigues me, of an opera singer and an emcee. It’s kind of horrifying, seeing the massive muscle of the tongue.

Today’s phone cam close ups of the painting in progress.



We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Published March 31, 2016

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