Owning Our Voices offers a unique, first-hand account of working within the Wolfsohn-Hart tradition of extended voice work by Margaret Pikes, an acclaimed voice teacher and founder member of the Roy Hart Theatre.
This dynamic publication fuses Pikes’ personal account of her own vocal journey as a woman within this, at times, male-dominated tradition, alongside an overview of her particular pedagogical approach to voice work, and is accompanied by digital footage of Pikes at work in the studio with artist-collaborators and written descriptions of scenarios for teaching. For the first time, Margaret Pikes’ uniquely holistic approach to developing the expressive voice through sounding, speech, song and movement has been documented in text and on film, offering readers an introduction to both the philosophy and the practice of Wolfsohn-Hart voice work.
Owning Our Voices is a vital book for scholars and students of voice studies and practitioners of vocal performance: it represents a synthesis of a life’s work exploring the expressive potential of the human voice, illuminating an important lineage of vocal training, which remains influential to this day.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part 1: Why ‘Owning Our Voices?’; Feminist Approaches to Autobiography – A Preface to Part 1; Chapter 1: Early Life; Chapter 2: A Conscious Family: Voice Work at The Studio and Abraxas Club with Roy Hart; Chapter 3: The Private Becomes Public; Chapter 4: Life after Death: Malérargues; Chapter 5: Leaving Malérargues and Growing Independence; Chapter 6: Some Reflections; Part 2: Methodology; Preface to Methodology; The Pre-Verbal Voice – A Preface; Chapter 7: The Pre-Verbal Voice; Freeing the Voice – A Preface; Chapter 8: Freeing the Voice; The Role of the Teacher – A Preface; Chapter 9: The Role of the Teacher; Connecting Head to Body – A Preface; Chapter 10: Connecting Head to Body – the Importance of Movement; Group Work – A Preface; Chapter 11: Group Work; Working with Song – A Preface; Chapter 12: Working with Song; Conclusion: Owning Our Voices – A Pluriphony
Margaret Pikes is a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre who trained with Roy Hart and participated in all of the Roy Hart Theatre’s early experimental performances. She has been teaching the Wolfsohn-Hart approach to vocal expression internationally for more than 50 years and regularly leads workshops in the UK, France and Germany.
Patrick Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Contemporary Performance at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a core member of Cross Pollination, an expanded, nomadic laboratory for the dialogue in-between practices, and is Associate Editor of the Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies.
"An original member of the Roy Hart Theatre Company, Margaret Pikes’s autobiographical experience as a woman emerging from this historical, cultural and artistic context exposes the development of Wolfsohn’s seminal praxis through her work. Her reflective writing opens up and questions the dominant ideologies that she suggests ‘pervaded and steered the philosophy underpinning the Roy Hart Theatre’s approach to voice training. [...] A cultural craft, Owning Our Voices: Vocal Discovery in the Wolfsohn-Hart Tradition (2021) from Pikes and Campbell opens important questions about western approaches to contemporary voice and speech training. [...] Pikes’s methodology and approach to voice training and performance furthers the possibility of not only discovering the practice of ‘freeing the voice’ but rather, a way of training that perhaps allows the individual to discover and ‘own’ their individual voice and give it expression." — Amy Rome, Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies