Voice and Voice

Mental note: Do not have a voice lesson on the same day as booked to record a chapter of audio fiction.

On the other hand, the vocal fatigue probably helped my male characters sound a little deeper.

Actually, the voice lesson was interesting today. We were working on “Summertime” and at the end of it I’m supposed to shoot up to a B and then float there before glissandoing back down. When I’m in shape, it works, but it’s been well over a year since I’ve sung this and I told my voice teacher, Sue, that I thought I sounded more like a whistling teakettle.

She was trying to come up shows where producing a whistling teakettle sound would be useful. I said, “Actually, I was in the Teakettle of Good Fortune.” As we’ve discussed in previous entries, I can’t whistle, at least not the conventional way. So I demonstrated the whistling teakettle sound that I used in the show, which involves saying “Woo!” on a rising scale, and then my voice suddenly pops up to this impossibly high note.

Sue starts laughing and tries to find it on the piano. It’s an A. The one that’s two and a half octaves above middle C. Which is ridiculous. Apparently I’m using what’s called “whistle voice,” to make this sound. It’s when the vocal folds come together down to a little hole and one essentially whistles through them. It’s nice to know what I’ve been doing.

Also, don’t ask me to do this for you at a con (you know who you are) because it’s full volume or nothing.

Edited to add: I realized that I had recorded my voice lesson, so you can listen to the whistling teakettle sound, here.

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