The Voice of an Animal

Sienna Dahlen

CênicaBolsa parcial

Datos del proyecto / dados do projeto

As a vocalist, I enjoy exploring both organized and experimental music with my instrument. As a person, I find much pleasure in interacting with animals. As a caring member of society, I am concerned about the well-being of animals and the level of abuse that they encounter. From a purely artistic point of view, I am also interested in knowing how certain animals sound in different environments. As I ponder this theme, certain questions come to mind. Is the "bark" of dog living in an urban environment different from that of a dog living in the country? If so, how is it different? Does a cow "moo" more or less in a confined environment as compared to cows that are allowed to roam freely? How might their voices be different? What does the song of a bird sound like in a rural setting? Does a cat "purr" more or less in a city?

My proposed project is to record the voices of animals in both urban and rural environments and with the recorded material, create a sound piece. I would record animal sounds in Toronto before I leave. I will also imitate some of the animal sounds with my voice and use that as part of the piece. I may also decide to improvise in real time with the recorded material.

I believe the animal's pleas are not being heard as they should be, especially those of wild dogs, feral cats and animals for consumption that are raised and transported in confined environments and then sent off to the slaughterhouse to be killed. Their voices deserve to be heard!

Exemplo # 1 Nativo y Foranio (Sample)

Exemplo # 2 Chapel Piece Extracts-by Sienna Dahlen (Centro Rural de Arte Residency, March 2011)

Exemplo # 3 Alerces- Lyrics by Sienna Dahlen, Music by Karl Jannuska (Composed in the Los Alerces National Park, Patagonia, Argentina)

Propuesta de taller o actividad con la comunidad / Proposta de oficina ou atividade para a comunidade

My idea for a workshop would be to involve the public in interacting with animals in the area. These interactions would be unconventional. For example, rather than talking to the animals with words alone, we would also speak to them using animal sounds. This would be a humorous exercise but one that would hopefully inspire people to reconsider their relationships with animals. The topics of 'conversation' would also be unique. Rather than simply patting a dog on the back and saying "good boy", the participants would be prompted to ask the dog about how it's doing, what it did that day etc. Communicating through silence with the eyes alone would also be encouraged.

The workshop would provide an opportunity for people to express themselves in ways that perhaps they've never done before. Establishing an open dialogue about the effects on one's mood after doing such an exercise would also take place.

Sounds from the workshop could potentially be used in my sound piece.

Sobre o artista

Sienna Dahlen-Bio

I have been making music as an improvising vocalist and composer for the past fifteen years. I have released four CDs as a leader in Canada since 2000 and three recordings as a co-leader internationally. In 2010 I released "Lifelines" with Danish pianist, Mads Baerentzen and since 2008 I've been collaborating with Paris-based Canadian drummer, Karl Jannuska. We look forward to promoting our new recording, "The Halfway Tree", this summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Toronto International Jazz Festival. In the summer of 2011, myself and Lebanese pianist, Wassim Soubra released "Dunes" in France at the World Arab Institute and in the spring of 2011, visual artist, Nadine Bariteau and I participated in the Centro Rural de Arte residency in Argentina. I am currently head of the Vocal dept. at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC but will be relocating to Toronto by June of this year. I hold a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto.