In this article, I discuss the bodily-aesthetic or somaesthetic experiences of singers and amateur singers with acid reflux. My interest lies in how singers perceive the materiality of their bodies in vocal problems as well as in their best singing experiences. I analyse singers’ free-form responses to an online survey that I conducted as a part of my research project “The Feel of Singing: Aesthetic Body Awareness in the Vocal Experiences of Deaf, Tone-deaf, and Vocally Disordered Singers” (2018–2020). The theoretical framework of the study is vocal somaesthetics (Tarvainen 2016, 2018a, 2018b) based on pragmatist somaesthetics (Shusterman 2008, 2012) and interdisciplinary voice studies (Thomaidis & Macpherson 2015). As the most crucial concept in my discussion I employ John Dewey’s and Arthur F. Bentley’s (1949) transaction, which reveals the body’s intertwinement with the world. In addition, I introduce some ideas on the materiality of singing presented in new materialist research.The article highlights how, when experiencing vocal problems, the singers perceive their bodies as heavy and opposing objects. Physiological changes in the body tissues caused by reflux bring out material sensations of roughness, dryness, swelling, thickness, and inflexibility. The singers may feel like losing their agency for these resisting body materials. Singing can be painful and bring out difficult emotions such as fear, sadness, frustration, and anger. In the somaesthetic experiences, on the other hand, sensations of vibration and wholeness come to the fore. The singers’ attention is no longer on individual parts or tissues of the body but on the vibrations and movements that penetrate the materials of the whole body and environment. They may feel like losing their boundaries and becoming one with the world. In such transactional experiences the singer can be said to co-constitute with the world.
|Translated title of the contribution||Resisting, Vibrating Body: Materialities of the body in the somaesthetic experiences of singers with acid reflux|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
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