Vessel of the Voice: A Seattle Oratory
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This thesis explores the relationship of the human body to architecture, specifically the human voice to the acoustic of architectural space. It proposes that there is an affinity of the human voice to the architectural void that shapes how we sense our body and inhabit architectural space. The human voice can only be heard and understood because the resonant cavities of the mouth and skull reinforce and shape the vocal air stream from our lungs, imbuing it with its own unique vocal quality. In a similar manner each architectural space that we inhabit or congregate within for devotional or secular purposes acoustically alters the sound of our voice and shapes both our individual and collective sense of self. My research includes a case study of the Gregorian plainchant "Viderunt omnes," exploring the practice and evolution of monophony and polyphony in the context of architectural space, as well as interviews with musicians and vocalists regarding their perceptions of vocalizing in architectural space. This thesis then proposes a new "Oratory" to be located in downtown Seattle; a cultural center that promotes the human voice as an instrument and provides facilities for vocalists to sing and chant in a diverse range of acoustical spaces.
- Architecture