Can you draw your voice?

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Having a name like Cage doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box. American composer and artist John Cage (1912-1992) is responsible for innovations in the aesthetics of music that were as radical as they were influential. He introduced silence and noise as an equal partner to the music, he used chance processes in composition, and he opened up the musical borders by introducing other arts.

The above picture is the “music sheet” for his composition Aria. You can hear a wonderful interpretation by Claron McFadden here. You may also watch her TEDx talk.

Why am I writing about this?

Beacuse this music piece provoked two things in me. First, the wonder of the human voice and what it is capable of – and how little of this communicative capacity we actually use.

Second, what would it look like if you tried to draw the sound of your voice  – in a drawing or painting like the one above? Why not try this next time you prepare for an important speech or presentation, drawing the highs and lows, the colours, the emphasis, and the silences? You will have created your own “music sheet”, making sure you build in dynamics and variation into your message.

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