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Every time I see, say or hear the word ‘airway’ I think ‘oscillation’, and every time I see, say or hear the word ‘oscillation’ I think ‘airway’. Therefore, you can probably imagine how excited I am for the upcoming Interdisciplinary Integration Symposium and for the opportunity to engage with all the speakers who have dedicated their professional lives to these two words.
A recent article in The New Yorker (February 11, 2019), written by Burkhard Bilger describes our orchestration inside of us. His first two paragraphs of ‘Extreme Range’ sent me over my edge of containment...
“In a throat, a note is forming. A puff of air, a pulse of the lungs, rushes up the windpipe and through the vocal cords, parting them like a pair of lips. As the cords begin to vibrate, they’re stretched taut by muscles to either side, raising the pitch. The diaphragm pumps more air, rocketing the note up the vocal tract, making its walls hum like the barrel of a woodwind. The sound ricochets back and forth as it rises, gaining resonance with each rebound, till it bursts into the hollow chamber of the mouth, the ringing cavities of the sinuses, and careens off the palate into the open air.
The human voice is the world’s most astonishing instrument, it’s often said. It’s capable of everything from a trill to a bark to an ear-splitting scream, from growling harmonics to liquid acrobatics, lofted on the breath like a lark on an updraft. Instrument is the wrong word, really. The voice is more like a chamber ensemble: winds and strings and blaring horns, strung together end to end. It’s a pump organ, a viola, an oboe, and the bell of a trumpet, each instrument passing the sound along to the next, adding volume and overtones at every step. Throw in the percussion of the lips and tongue, and the echoing amphitheater of the skull, and you have a full orchestra playing inside you.”
Over the next few weeks, I will highlight each of our six orchestrated speakers and presenters, and how their ‘Approach to the Production of Voice, Airflow, and Resonance Frequency Breathing’ strengthens our sense of self and self-satisfaction. Postural satisfaction requires intimate integrated oscillation from our vocal cords, neck musculature, throat or airway and occiputs. Highlighting is something I do with every article, book or journal I read. I look forward to every one of our Spring Symposiums, but this year it will be hard to contain my excitement between now and one of the biggest highlights of my year.