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Joan La Barbara
American vocalist and composer (born 1947)
Joan Linda La Barbara (born June 8, 1947) is an Americanvocalist and composer known for her explorations of non-conventional or "extended" vocal techniques. Considered to be a vocal virtuoso in the field of contemporary music, she is credited with advancing a new vocabulary of vocal sounds including trills, whispers, cries, sighs, inhaled tones, and multiphonics (singing two or more pitches simultaneously).
Joan La Barbara's early creative work (early to mid 1970s) focuses on experimentation and investigation of vocal sound as raw sonic material including works that explore varied timbres on a single pitch, circular breathing techniques inspired by horn players, and multiphonic or chordal singing. In the mid 1970s, she began creating more structured compositional works, some of which include electronics and layered voice sounds.
Joan La Barbara has also done work acting and composing for television, film, and dance. She composed and performed the music for the Sesame Street animated segment Signing Alphabet, for electronics and voice, and has composed a variety of chamber, orchestral, and choral works. She also appears in Matthew Barney's 2014 film River of Fundament. La Barbara is currently on the music composition artist faculty at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and on the faculty of Mannes/The New School/College of Performing Arts.
La Barbara works
Voice Is the Original Instrument (2016). Arc Light Editions, vinyl release, ALE005.
io: atmos (2009) New World Records, CD 80665
Voice Is the Original Instrument: Early Works (2003). Lovely Music, CD 3003.
Awakenings, for chamber ensemble (1994) Music & Arts, CD 830