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🌹 🎶 Vocal Revolution Podcast Ep 20, February 2024 : Love Your Voice  

🌹 🎶 Transcript - Podcast Audio follows at the end

Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Vocal Revolution Podcast, where we celebrate the power of our voices to change our worlds, personally and collectively. 

Today’s theme is Loving Your Voice and my name’s Katie Rose and I’m honoured to be your host on this journey.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I wanted to offer you an invitation to fall in love with the instrument inside of you - which can indeed be a messenger of love and much more besides

Whenever I say I’m a singer or choir leader people always negate themselves and their voices. They’ll say “oh you don’t want to hear me singing” or “I would send everyone running a mile if you heard me sing.”  Is it any wonder then, if these perceptions are so common, that public speaking is our No.1 fear, ranking above death?

So this February I’m so grateful that you’re here and I’m so grateful for your listening and your time and I’m inviting you to gift yourself some love and appreciation for your voice.

As babies, we may not have had words but through our voices we accessed a vast repertoire of sounds - yawning, crying, yelling, burgling, babbling. Our voices were essential to our survival back then to get attention, warmth and food - we needed to make ourselves heard, anyway we could.   We responded to the voices of our caregivers, heard in the womb, in very specific ways and they also responded to us - cooing over our first sounds and words. As young children, we had a sense of uninhibited vocal play and continued to utilise the full power of our lungs as and when necessary - we’ve all seen toddlers bringing the house down in Sainsbury’s!

We forget though, as we grow adults and we lose connection with that sense of just how extraordinary and special our voices are.

So I’m just here to offer a little reminder and an invitation to romance our voices as the beautiful special things they are this February.

Sing in me, Muse and through me tell the story" - Homer invokes at the beginning of his epic poem The Odyssey - “tell us in our time, lift the great song again, he implores.”

In Homer’s time, Ancient Greece, in C8th BC the Muses were considered to be nine nymphs, who guided not just the arts of music, poetry, theatre, song, dancing and oratory but also memory, history and the studies of the heavens - astronomy and astrology. They were believed to be found frequenting springs and fountains, and libations of milk, honey and water flowed at temples to invoke their inspiring presence. Artists flocked to take part in the great festival of the Muses held at a temple and theatre at Mount Helicon, of which ruins remain.

The Muses have been romanced and invoked through innumerable pieces of art and music over the centuries. In our times, 2822 years later, we hear the contemporary voice of young poet Joyce Chen ringing through her poem Muse, runner up in one of our musical festivals - the BBC Proms Poetry Competition. Her poem was inspired by Weinberg’s Cello Concerto and it’s called Muse.


by Joyce Chen

Night clings to her like some beauty,
dew to a petal; others near and draw
away, allured by her melancholic magnetism.
Her bitter breath frosts their pallid frames

emerging from dawn, subtle as a silver cat leaping
rooftops, slinking from the slumbering streets.
A Tipsy tune coaxes distant memory from the cobbles,
the teasing lull bobbing and bowing to her tread.

They yearn to dissect her strangeness –
springing up like grass-blades to seize her heels
Chaos blooming in her shadow –
thirsting to be first – to extinguish her –

a strange dusk is caught in these thorns
creeping in, swallowing all into its slick belly…

She is fighting the fade of the light-trail,
pleading for a pathway, a return to distant
morning. Her sweet voice spirals into dimming skies
as the iridescence of her skin evaporates…

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that that’s an incredibly atmospheric invocation of the Muse for today and perhaps that prompts reflection for you on what the Muse and what inspiration means to you. What is creative inspiration - that mysterious thing that has intrigued writers and artists throughout centuries?

Whilst we today may not offer libations, we do need to put aside moments of time and space to invite vocal inspiration and love our voices.

So take a moment right now, steady your breathing and focus your attention on your voice. 

As the unique instrument within you, it’s intimately connected with all aspects of your being - physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. 

You could imagine it as the many petals of a rose, or the rings of an onion or a great tree.  

Your voice has passed through all the years of your life since birth - it has been there singing at every Happy Birthday, it has wept with you at every leave-taking and loss, it has laughed with joy at every celebration.  

Your voice has been the vessel through which your emotions, passions, longings, ideas and thoughts have flowed outwards into the world. 

Your voice can invite people to connect with you and facilitate powerful shared experiences, it also communicates the definition of your unique pathway in life.

An anatomical wonder, more unique than your fingerprint, your voice arises in the spaces and matter of your living, breathing body.  

It can fly high like a songbird and swoop down to the growly gravel of the earth below.  It can radiate out warm goodwill and scorch with fiery anger.  It can start a revolution - a returning to yourself - in every moment.

In this moment of connection can you allow a feeling of warm appreciation to rise in you - as you take a deep breath from the belly, filling the lungs and opening the heart.

Might there be a whisper of the muse in your ear about a song longing to take flight, a book waiting to be written, a truth calling to be spoken?

Listen quietly in this moment and let the layers of the voice unfold.

Music - Rose Chant 

So that was a little bit from The Rose Chant, which I was inspired to create by the muses some years ago and which features on my album The Singing Tree. And it just came to mind because it felt like that whole process of unfolding the layers of our voices is such a beautiful, magical, mysterious thing. 

To support that process from the 1st-14th February I’m going to be offering a daily prompt with an invitation to gift your voice a few special moments of love and attention

These will be gentle ways to activate some of those lovely layers for anyone at any stage of their vocal journey. It’s not going to be excessively technical, it’s just going to be some fun invitations - things like taking our voices out for a walk and listening for ourselves with the symphony of sound around us -  for example here’s 10 seconds of crows that I heard earlier today -I’m not sure exactly what was going on but they were having this incredible conflab at the top of two trees and making these incredible sounds - you can hear there’s a little bit of wind too in the background because it was a little bit windy today. I just wanted to give you a 10-second blast of some of the incredible sounds that we might find when we take our voice on a little walk.

Audio of the Crows from up above in these trees!

You know that’s what voice is all about for me - it’s about a full stereophonic, symphonic listening for all the layers within ourselves and all the layers that we encounter in the world outside of us, which can of course be overwhelming but I believe when we develop the capacity to hold that and to engage with that our voice can be an incredible instrument to support us in our journey through life.

So that’s just one example of one of the prompts we might be undertaking in the 14 days and it’s going conclude with a special online Love Your Voice Celebration from 
6 -7 pm on Valentine’s Day. So do feel free to come along to that, whether or not you’ve done the prompts and just come along for an hour of celebrating voice with me.

To take part, come on over and join me on the socials @katierosewindow or sign up here

I’m going to sign off now with an arrangement of Red Red Rose I arranged for Burns Night and Valentine’s Day with lots of love to you and your amazing voice.

Music - Red Red Rose -

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