Once Upon a Voice: A Workshop with Israeli Vocal Artist Victoria Hanna

Louis and Rachel Lesk Memorial Fund in Israel Studies

We all speak and use our voices daily, but what power does speech and vocalization have beyond practical tools for imparting information?

Voice exists as frequencies and waves travelling through space, and with that awareness, we can use it to do marvelous things. Knowledge of voice possibilities can be found in the biblical book of Genesis, for example, in which the story of the world’s creation occurs through speech acts: “Let there be….,” God says. Clearly, there is more to speech than what we hear. During this workshop/performance, we will inquire into the multiple dimensions of voice, including tone and pitch, with an emphasis on understanding that each word and sentence we utter are sounds spilling into and affecting space and the people within that space. Among the inspirations for this project are ancient Kabbalist Hebrew writings which consider letters of the alphabet, the mouth, and language as primary tools of Creation.

Vocal artist Victoria Hanna examines such ancient texts, setting them to music so as to explore their mystical nature in combination with contemporary modes of communication. With an astonishing vocal range and timbre, her work reveals aspects of voice, text, and spatial perception. Hanna’s current work is inspired by Jerusalem, where the overlapping of past and present, ancient and modern that lies at the city’s very core. Her work presents sacred Hebrew texts, prayers, and practices in a unique context that integrates theatre, music, video, and spoken word. Victoria Hanna has performed for over two decades, and was featured in international festivals around the world.

“Hanna is blessed with one of those voices that demands full attention, holding audiences rapt with her acrobatic voice and leaving mouths agape.” Time Out New York

Presented by the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies

Date & Time
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7:00pm

Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue