5 questions to Sabrina Lastman and Sasha Bogdanowitsch about Vital Vox 2012

Note that the 2012 Vital Vox Vocal Festival, which was scheduled to take place October 29 and 30 at Brooklyn’s Roulette, has been postponed to March 25 and 26, 2013.

What motivated the creation of a festival centered on voice?

We are both vocalists and composers who work with and are inspired daily by the inner and outer workings of the human voice through this multi-facted thing we call music. We wanted a venue for us and other vocal artists who write and perform their own work to celebrate this unique angle of the composer performer. Vocalists are usually associated with bands or part of a larger ensemble, but are rarely given the extreme focus we give them here at Vital Vox where we hope to chart new ground for the voice and celebrate the fantastic variety of sounds that can come from this single instrument, the voice.

What is the focus of this fourth annual Vital Vox?

The festival is in its 4th year now and this year it focuses on a new selection of artists to us who are composer performers, just like in years past. The main different aspect in this year’s festival is the two day theme of new vocal music with electronics of any kind, shape and size. For some artists this means processing & live looping, others it means interactive video and computer programs. The world of electronic music is an ever growing field and has brought a huge new palette to vocal music.

Pamela Z

Pamela Z, performing on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

From Meredith Monk, to Joan La Barbara, Erin Gee, or even Björk, female vocal performers seem to be in the forefront of vocal experimentation. In your opinion, why is it so?

As vocalists we feel and think that the voice is a very delicate instrument and that a lot of awareness, patience, care, playfulness, attention and listening is involved to develop it. And it is not just the voice but a way to unite the voice with a certain music world, with a certain world of sounds and rhythms. We can say that women have a high kinesthetic sense and a high connection with their own body and sensitivity. But we can also name some great male performers that have given a great deal of artistry to the art of vocal experimentation like Bobby McFerrin, Theo Bleckmann and Al Jarreau, among many others.

Considering the wonderful performers that you usually feature, have you ever been tempted to offer workshops/masterclasses during Vital Vox?

Vital Vox is produced by World in One Pan Arts (WIO), an non-for-profit organization that supports the creation of new original music and interdisciplinary performances by providing production and management for projects by its core group of artists and their collaborators. One of the areas we want to develop as part of WIO is education. We have in mind the idea of including workshops/master classes as part of Vital Vox Festival in the future. We think it can be a very inspiring experience and a great opportunity for other vocalists/musicians to participate in this kind of educational gathering, and more if the artist/s do not leave live in NYC.

Lisa Karrer and David Simons, performing on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

Lisa Karrer and David Simons, performing on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

Where do you see Vital Vox in 10 years?

In 10 years we hope the festival will have national and world wide recognition and be able to be produced with vocal artists all throughout the world, educating and rejoicing in the many varied ways music can be made with the voice throughout all styles and cultures and encompassing even more the vocal fields of rock, folk, world music, jazz, hip hop, etc.

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