SMASH #5 three-week module
the body as a sound system

morning voice classes
Robert Liethoff
Nov 24 – Dec 11, 2014 (mo – thu, 10.30 – 12.00)

Do we know what voice is? How does the voice and the body interact during the act of singing, making sounds and speaking? Can we perceive ourselves as playful instruments where voice and physicality enhance each other?

This warm up class is based on the method from the Lichtenberger Institute for Applied Physiology of the Voice. It draws considerable attention to an understanding of the sensory relationship between the nervous system and the sound of the voice, as well to a healthy vocal functioning. Through preparing the body for a state of receptivity we will delicately establish contact with our inner ear and our larynx while awakening the deeper tissues of the vocal chords. Perceiving and listening instead of expressing outwardly - tuning in, not out - will play a major role in this process. We will seek the minimum amount of energy needed for a fine oscillation to be present in our tone. Can we play with the idea that a tone starts ‘as a spark’ in between our ears? Can we learn to trust the higher frequencies of overtones to enrich the quality of our sound? How efficient can we become? In short, instead of using exercises to control the voice we focus on how to be guided by sound sensory perception.

This class can be seen as a space for inquiry, which will take place for the whole 3-week module as a daily morning practice. Therefore patience, openness and a willingness to let go of the urge to achieve something are essential.


Robert Liethoff is an actor / director and voice movement teacher from the Netherlands. After finishing acting school (degree in 2005 Acting Studio The Hague) he moved to Berlin and expanded his studies in the field of dance and choreography. From 2007 until recently he has been studying and working at the Lichtenberg Institute for advanced study in applied physiology of the voice. His work draws on the aspects of voice physiology as a departure point for the development of sound-oriented bodywork. Can our voice unfold into a warm, sound-enriched and effortless energetic instrument? Using an interdisciplinary approach to the voice, he has been teaching and working with classical singers, choirs / bands, actors / performers in the Netherlands, Germany and Mexico over the past few years. He is currently collaborating with DJs and sound composers in Berlin and Amsterdam brainstorming new modalities of listening and composing electronic music through an acoustic experience of the body.


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