In our last University of Michigan residency, I worked with the students in creating soundscapes conjured from ideas of pain, self-comfort & spiritual healing. They were shy at first, the students. Perhaps sharing the voice in an improvised manner can seem a bit too risky or intimate at first. But gradually they came to trust & came up with some inspiring sounds. In yet another workshop I taught prepared melodies that I had created, from the actual script. We worked with unison, call & response, counterpoint, sound f/x, discord, breath. This workshop was lively & open to experiment. Teaching a specific melody might have cut back the risk. They put themselves into the vocals.

In my original idea about creating an Anarcha soundscape, I heard, instruments & voice. But as I listened to the voices of the students & the singular energy it carried, I began to feel how really special the voice could be for this project. It's organic & honest & is readily understood by us all. I do still hear some instrumentation but now feel the voice might be the primary or main sound, among other instruments. A trio of voices singing a particular melodic pattern could symbolize our trio of Betsy, Lucy & Anarcha. A theme that could be reworked & reprised in different ways during the course of the piece.

Words sing themselves. They attach themselves to one another & seem to generate their own pitch & pulse by some strange aural chemistry. Sometimes they sing to you right away. Other times you must search & coax. I have heard the melody already for Betsy, Lucy & Anarcha. It leapt from the script one evening as I read it. Last week, a fuller melody presented itself, sly & timid, it inserted itself in my ear as I read again. I like this part…when the sensuous dialogue begins between the words, music & myself. I am thinking of Anarcha, Betsy & Lucy. I am thinking of Petra , Anita, Carrie & Aimee, Tabitha & all who search for the voices of these three women.

--- Tiye Giraud