"Intone" explores the potential of a continuous breath for reaching beyond a human vocal territory, through which microscopic transformations of colour gradually expand and contract, illuminate and shadow, and enter and leave interlaced regions of a sonic space.
Scored for six singers (a cappella, and unamplified), the precise sounds in the piece place demands on the sensitivity of the performers and total awareness of their vocal organs and breathing. A corresponding notation system developed for the piece details instructions about lip position and pressure, tongue position, shaping of the oral cavity, air pressure, throat motion, and more. While the form of the piece depends fundamentally on the distinct identity of each sound, there's a bandwidth of flexibility within each technique. The singers are invited to explore how each vocal technique transfers to their individual physiognomies, as well as the impact that micro-shifts of movement and dynamics have on the weight, touch, luminosity, and colour of a sound. Much of the technique is in listening, guiding, and responding to the will of the voice. Each performance is a new search.
"Intone" excludes literary, verbal, and objective associations. The composition is exclusively a sensory experience which aims to amplify and celebrate listening.