SMASH #5 three-week module
voice as body, text and music
Irena Tomažin
Dec 01 – 05, 2014

The voice has many bodies, the body has many voices. If you have a text, but no melody, then you just need to sustain the silence - to listen to it as long as it's needed for a mumbling to become a rhythm, a melody to seduce you, until it bites your body. To hear yourself you need to be brave.

During this week we will work on the voice through the body to let it resonate when we sing, to let it carry our voice. We will arrive to our voice through physical exercises such as working with the diaphragm and stamina of a breath, massaging and positioning the body and opening the body resonators. The first part of each day includes warming up the body individually, followed by work in couples or groups. By tracing the body movements through improvisation we explore how movement and voice are connected, how they follow and complement each other. Through improvisation we can unravel our personal voice identities that offer mirrors in which we can reflect upon our own strengths and fragilities. By listening closely we can get to know not only ourselves more deeply, but also our own materials, expressions and songs. Working with breathing and deep relaxation, we resonate with and listen to our voice, arriving at our own rhythms and melodies which we organically carry. This experimentation with sound will make space for different facets and stories to emerge and be amplified within the shared space. By moving the space with our own voices, we will gain the sensation of how we can touch our surroundings and the other. We will also explore working with a given text, approaching it as an acoustic composition, using the embodiment of its form to lead us to sing with it, or to purely speak it. By approaching it musically we can achieve different text interpretations and give shape to a voice character, an improvised tune or a dance/movement sequence. Please bring a short text with you to the program, it could be an exerpt from a theater play, a piece of prose, a poem or only a few sentences. Each time we will finish the workshop with singing individually and in groups. During the week we will work on an old Slavic song from oral tradition. Just by singing the song - as simple as singing can be - we will learn the patience and receptivity of just receiving from the song rather than doing the song. The song has already existed for many years, so it is more about being open to the song and listening to what it can teach us about ourselves.


Irena Tomažin is officially a performer, a 'voicer' and a mover, plus for her further life a postgraduate philosophy student based near Ljubljana. Off the record - Irena is more or less obsessed with the body and its voices. Her obsessions come out through thoughts, songs, spoken word events and concerts or through dance and theatre pieces. Many times they rise from encounters and working with other people, many times from being alone and happy about it, because these moments bring her to listen and hear what is around/out/in her. Being silent for a long time in her life brought noises, songs, gestures and moments of abruptly mumbling, squeaking and shouting out loud in joy. She cries often out of happiness just by hearing a nice or very old song and laughs by listening to herself. Starting out from the urge to move and release inner tensions and inspirations she began to dance in high school, where she also worked and performed during five years with the IHT theatre group. She acquired most of her dancing experience with the Intact dance studio, the Ljubljana Dance Theatre, the educational programs Laboratory, Agon and Emanat, as well as taking part in numerous workshops in Slovenia and abroad, being part of DanceWeb in 2004 and Atelier/ Grotowski Institute in 2007. She performed in various dance and theatre productions with great people who challenged her, changed her artistic and life perspectives and many times confused her in inspiring ways. Confusion can be creative in art, but not so much in life. Working on voice brought her simply back to herself and has helped her to grow personal roots. Working with people who listen to the voice and the body, opened her ears and heart and made her feel safe in not knowing and controlling herself and being happy about searching in reflections and echoes of the voice. Oscillating from work with others to work of her own, she made solo dance debut ‘Hitchcock’s metamorphoses’ with composer Reichenberg in 2001, followed by a second solo ‘Caprice’ in 2005. Since then she started to work mostly with her voice, but more in the context of theater than music. In 2006 she made a rework ‘Caprice (re)lapsed’ for the City of women festival in Ljubljana in 2006. In 2008 followed by ‘like a raindrop into the mouth of silence’, a duo with Primož Bezjak, in 2010 ‘out of discord’ with Josephine Evrard, premiered in Berlin in 2011 at the Ufer Studios. In the year 2012 she made her sixth performance on voice and movement ‘taste of silence always resonates’. Whatever she created up till now somehow feels unfinished inside and opens more questions so she goes on in searching for some kind of answer. Since 2006 she has a solo voice experimental project called 'iT' with which she performed in Slovenija and abroad. In 2011 she released a CD named Crying Games in production of Atol with Aldo Ivančič, with whom she was collaborating already in hardcore band Bast Kolektiv. As an experimental voice artist she collaborated/s with Tomaž Grom, Neža Naglič, Marko Karlovčec with whom she released CD 'That which happens is itself dripping red' in 2009 on Botanic records, Seijiro Murajama, Liz Allbee, Noid, Klaus Filip, Christof Kurzmann with whom she released CD 'Ljubljana – Wien' in 2013 on label L'innomable, Okkyung Lee, Lydia Lunch... She also shares regularly her work through workshops centered on the voice in Ljubljana and abroad.



Borut Peterlin
Nejc Saje
Sunčan Stone
Nata Žgank
Mina Fina
Boštjan Lah

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