𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐕𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧: 𝐀 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐄𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐲
"𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰" Britten Pears Arts Producer
A short film by Liv Penny commissioned for Snape Maltings Festival of New Cinema 2022
The film outcome of Anna-Helena's Britten Pears Arts Residency (and her doctoral upgrade exam) was selected for the Snape Maltings 'Festival of the New' screening on 9th and 10th September 2022.
More info: https://brittenpearsarts.org/whats-on/category/festival-of-new
𝘈 𝘤𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘷𝘪𝘢 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 1450 𝘉𝘊 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘴𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺.
Performed, composed and directed by Anna-Helena McLean with Kendell Foster, Courtenay Johnson, Erin Nicole Washington, Claire Jamison, Robi Bogdanov-Schein, Rosie May Jones and other anonymous collaborators
"𝐈𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲, 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐜, 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 - 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐭. 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐡 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞!" Barbican Programmer
"𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰 - 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡. 𝐃𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐯𝐢𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬. 𝐒𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥! 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥! 𝕐𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕧𝕠𝕚𝕔𝕖!!!!!!" Annie Morrison, Speech and Voice Trainer at RADA
A co-commission by Guildhall School Research Dept, Britten Pears Arts, VASTA Voice and Speech Trainers Association and the Stables Theatre Hastings
I have been invited to present a small section of a new performance I am working on with a core team of international collaborators using the current working title, THE VOICE LESSON. It is based on a piece of practice that I am developing in association with my doctoral research. In this project I am working to imbricate new materialist, post-human and feminist conceptual frameworks into the fabric of my voice and performance methodology otherwise known as 'ACT INTERNATIONAL' or Actor - Chorus - Text Ensemble Practice and Workshops. For the conference we will present 3 extracts of our work in progress as follows 1) A Feminist Anthem 2) A Feminized Alphabet of Gestures 3) Gardzienice's 'Mutuality' from a female/other lived perspective. After framing the practice I will slice open the practice for witnesses to engage with both experientially and critically before opening it out into a discussion. This may lead into a participatory workshop. The work aims to reveal the way women and other marginalised experiences have been overlooked within male dominated systems of pedagogy and bringing my particular experience of the Polish Laboratory to light. THE VOICE LESSON frames valuable training principles more inclusively than they might have been previously, and I am working to propose a more sustainable approach to developing best practice for a posthuman era.
A coach is conducting a voice lesson via a projected video call when a song dating 1450 BC instigates a breakthrough in her student and subsequent realisation about their identity. THE VOICE LESSON is a poetic exploration of agency and the female voice drawing on multimedia, physicality and original music to slip between the inner and outer worlds of the artist. Vocal acrobat and electronic cellist, Anna-Helena, leads ensemble acting training and draws on this background to deconstruct the liveness of her creative process with an interactive audience. Staging writings by women spanning 4000 years (Inanna, Woolf, Braidotti), the lesson positions audiences as one of many listening parts in a chorus of continuous becoming, sensitizing mind toward body and voice in an urgent reframing of the important work of women today.
The pandemic has forced the world and our performing arts industries to wake up to climate change, our dependence on one another and the fact that technology is fundamental to human survival. As an artist working in a profoundly body-centred field of practice (namely the Polish Laboratory Practice after Gardzienice) and an independent artist navigating a pathway for my own female voice to resonate in the world I - like many marginalised identities today - have almost given in to what seems like a futile mismatch of ancient knowledge in a concrete jungle. With New Materialism, Post-Humanism and Feminisms at large providing new conceptual frameworks and with them critical tools for bridging undervalued differences for the first time, suddenly the invisible work of women and the performative power of the voice too converge with the urgency of our current day reality like never before. This workshop and demonstration hopes test an alternative way of sharing a body of practice-knowledge in a way that will significantly advance and inform the research itself but also attuned with the pulse of performance making today. The participating audiences and witnesses will help to shape what might be better understood through practice. The platform also aims to stir up a way of being together as a network that can empower us as pedagogues converging with the urgency of lived experiences. This contribution works to frame questions about identity and the creative process, facilitating a way of sourcing a response practically and inclusively, a response that may not be immediately knowable but one that will feed an organic ecosystem of mutual development. One that listens-in to differences and opens worlds of new becoming in a practice that is not only 'best' practice but more sustainable for humans and non humans alike.
This demonstration is being developed in the lead up to July and it will be based on a presentation I made at Barbican Theatre in March 2021 which can be seen here as an example of the style. https://youtu.be/iDxWJupYFBk Between now and July it is not clear yet the extent to which the actors will be able to rehearse but Zoom rehearsals have already commenced at the time of submission and Snape Maltings are producing an early stage draft of the work as can be traced here: https://brittenpearsarts.org/profile/anna-helena-mclean I am only able to attend on the basis of a student loan and travel bursary as well as in-kind stay and with confirmation of support to my 6 year year old daughter. On the basis of these things I would be prepared to bring my electronic cello and loop station equipment to the conference with me.
I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to develop a new piece with the working title THE VOICE LESSON in partnership with Snape Maltings and the Britten Pears Residency 2022. Producer Courtenay Johnson and Sound Artist and Technical Engineer Kendell Foster will be joining me to develop an emerging idea.
A coach is conducting a voice lesson via a projected video call when a song dating 1450 BC instigates a breakthrough in her student and subsequent realisation about their identity. THE VOICE LESSON is a poetic exploration of agency and the female voice drawing on multimedia, physicality and original music to slip between the inner and outer worlds of the artist. Vocal acrobat and electronic cellist, Anna-Helena, leads ensemble acting training and draws on this background to deconstruct the liveness of her creative process with an interactive audience. Staging writings by women spanning 4000 years (Inanna, Sappho, Woolf), the lesson positions audiences as one of many listening parts in a chorus of continuous becoming, sensitizing mind toward body and voice in an urgent reframing of the important work of women today.
Stay tuned for performance dates and process blogging.
Instagram – brittenpearsarts / prsfoundation
Twitter – BrittenPears / PRSFoundation
The Snape Residency programme is generously supported by the PRS Foundation.
Anna-Helena is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Performance Practice at Guildhall School of Music & Drama while engaged as a Voice & Performance Tutor on the Acting Studies BA Hons course also at the Guildhall School. She is a supervisor for MA students in Classical Acting at Central School of Speech and Drama and guest lectures at Rose Bruford College since 2020.