Many years ago, a group of singers that included Warren Burt, Deborah Kavasch, Ann Chase, Philip Larson, Edwin Harkins, and Linda Vickerman at the Center for Music Experiment and related research at UC San Diego recorded a Lexicon of Extended Vocal Techniques. This includes various harmonic singing techniques, fries, shakes, clicks, and a host of things that would make the ministry of funny noises proud. The lexicon was issued on tape, and I’ve been working on turning them into samples.
I digitized the various sounds from the tape and have chopped them up into short sound bites, then put them on CDs. I ended up with over 200 separate sound files, and since CDs can only have 99 tracks, they have to go on 3 CDs, even though the size of the audio files would all usually fit on one CD.
I know, I know; singers who can master these techniques would scoff at having them on samples, but I guess it’s part of the labor-intensive lazy man’s digital revolution. So it’s a work in progress; I don’t have commercial aspirations for the samples, especially since I didn’t create the original lexicon, but I do hope it will provide a rich tapestry of “choral” possibilities for experimentation and composition.
If anyone knows any of the original singers, I wonder if they’d be interested in doing anything else with the Lexicon, which as far as I know, is the only resource of its type.