Today is World Voice Day, a worldwide annual event devoted to the celebration of the human voice. The aim is to demonstrate the enormous importance of the voice in the daily lives of people. World Voice Day also strives to bring global awareness to the need for preventing voice problems, rehabilitating injured voices, training the artistic voice, and researching a variety of applications of voice. A goal of World Voice Day is to encourage all those who use their voice for business or pleasure to learn to take care of their voice, and know how to seek help and training, and to support research on the voice. Having been an actor, singer, and teacher all of my professional life, I take the training and development of the voice extremely seriously.
Voice production is studied and applied in many disciplines, including medicine, speech-language pathology, music, physics, psychology, drama, phonetics, anthropology, and biology. World Voice Day was established on April 16th with the main goals of increasing public awareness of the importance of the voice and alertness to voice problems. This celebration started in Brazil in 1999 as the Brazilian National Voice Day. It was the result of a mixed initiative of physicians, speech-language pathologists and singing teachers who belonged to the former association Sociedade Brasileira de Laringologia e Voz (Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice), under the presidency of Dr. Nedio Steffen. This Brazilian initiative was followed by other countries, such as Argentina and Portugal, and Brazilian National Voice Day became International Voice Day. In the United States, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery officially recognized this celebration in 2002 and in that year the event became World Voice Day.
In 2012 three voice researchers, Prof. Johan Sundberg (Sweden), Prof. Tecumseh Fitch (Austria), and Dr Filipa Lã (Portugal) invited voice experts from a number of countries to form an international website group for the celebration of World Voice Day. The website was coordinated by Prof. Johan Sundberg and Dr. Gláucia Laís Salomão (Brazil). Presently the group consists of 66 members who initiate and help coordinate events for World Voice Day in their respective countries. Currently the website is coordinated by Mara Behlau, Thays Vaiano and Mauro Andrea. You can find it here: http://world-voice-day.org/
With very little effort I could produce dozens of extraordinary videos showcasing the colossal range and potential of the human voice. Instead I give you one – a demonstration of a number of vocal techniques from a Tuvan master:
There are numerous examples of vocal techniques in which one singer can produce two notes simultaneously in Central Asia, including Tibet, Mongolia, and NW China, but in my experience Tuvan singers have the most complex and varied styles.
For a dish du jour I was going to present an audio only recipe, thinking that I could find one from an old radio show. Before television was ubiquitous, radio chefs were quite common. But in search for an example I found this oddity: a young man attempting to follow a recipe from Gordon Ramsey’s television show listening to the audio only. It’s an odd premise because you are meant to see what Ramsey is doing, but it does show how much the vocal component can contribute: