Paul: I attended many zoom sessions which explored voice and voice loss, whilst trying to understand what the voice is and why it’s so important. I have also worked with Hannah and Hazel on ‘Paul’s Aria’ [over many months] performing at the London Coliseum with Roddy Williams and at the Snape festival.
Tanja: We collaborated together on the impact losing my voice has had on me as a woman and mother to two young children whilst going through a global pandemic. Hazel and Hannah interviewed me at length on quite a few occasions where we explored every part of what my voice means to me and the impact losing it has had on me. I shared with them personal thoughts and feelings, from the days leading up to my surgery to have a laryngectomy. All of my worries and fears and everything that followed on from that. I thought the way they took on board everything I shared with them was handled with care, sensitivity and turned into something very moving, beautiful, creative and personal to me.
Sara: It was a really special moment meeting Gwen (Gweneth Ann-Rand) and recording the song Can You Hear My Voice. The other work [I Left My Voice Behind], I think it’s an amazing piece. I’m not sure how much I said personally was included, but I think it gets the message across. I wish we’d had more time in zoom meetings to meet everyone…as we were mixed with many different researchers and healthcare professionals. It does represent what we [Shout At Cancer choir] were talking about and how we were feeling.
Hazel: My main responsibility was to listen really carefully. People’s lives are complicated and messy, but when we tell a story, we want to have clarity – a throughline. I wanted to tell clear stories, while honouring the whole expansive lives that people lead, which intersect, are informed by, and diverge from their experience of voice loss.
Stephen: As the Parkinson’s component [Sing For Joy, London choirs] of the Sound Voice project we found the team to be inspiring. Our group members were transformed. They moved confidently from whisper to forceful speech and rediscovered their voice.
Hannah: This project has been such a privilege – working very intimately to understand and create a musical language for sensitive, individual stories. The conversations, relationships and pieces we’ve built feel very precious – I feel a huge responsibility for everyone; to take great care and make musical stories that have heart and integrity.