Thank You to Our Campaign Supporters

Dear Backers, Supporters, and Friends,

It’s been over a week since our crowdfunding campaign ended. Yet somehow, we’re still basking in the warm glow of gratitude. And I do mean all of us!

Our campaign’s final tally was $28,492 and best of all, we brought this in with the help of over 232 backers.

This is meaningful not just because it will allow us to continue production on our documentary, but also because of all the wonderful new voices that have joined the chorus of supporters.

I have been working on this project on my own for the past few years. I hoped it would resonate, but I couldn’t have imagined just how true that would turn out to be. It has been beyond exciting to connect with so many new supporters.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll keep you posted on our new shoots and next steps for the film and send out your perks--well, the ones that are ready now, anyhow. Be sure to watch out for our emails, since some of the rewards will be arriving digitally.

And since several folks have asked, it's not too late to contribute to the film--if you're interested, send an email to marty@voicemessagesdocumentary.com for more information.

Please do keep in touch via social media or email. We can always be reached at info@voicemessagesdocumentary.com.

Thank you again!
Marty

Martin Zied and the Voice Messages team

PS. A special shout-out to my team. Thanks for your hard work and support! 

 
 

Choir Contest: Winner Selected!

You may remember that we held a choir contest during our crowdfunding campaign to choose the choir we will feature in Voice Messages.
 
We were delighted with the volume and quality of submissions we received. It was so fun listening to the beautiful music and ultimately very difficult to narrow it down to one winner! Big thanks to all those who entered.
 
We did have to pick one, and that distinction went to Tapestry, a 20-voice choir out of New York City.  

Congratulations, Tapestry!

We’ll be thrilled to feature you in our film, and we look forward to meeting you and filming with your group.
 
Check out their website to find out more about them, watch performance videos, and more.
 
Special thanks to our judges: Martin Zied, Stacy Horn, and Tim Sharp.

 
 

Contribute and Win a Voice Messages Deluxe Prize Pack!

Exciting news!

With just 9 days left on our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to finish shooting Voice Messages, we’re launching an easy and fun contest.

Simply put: THIS WEEK, contribute any amount to our Indiegogo or share our campaign link, FundVoiceMessages.com, and you’ll be entered to win our deluxe Voice Messages prize pack!   

Already backed the project before Wednesday, 6/27? Consider upping your pledge or sharing our link to be entered. 

ContestPrizes

Here’s what is included in the prize pack:

  • Signed Voice Messages DVD
  • Limited-edition Voice Messages Art Print
  • Tote bag
  • Two tickets to Voice Messages Philadelphia premiere
  • A voucher to download all 18 Vocal Process webinars
  • A personal joint Skype coaching session from Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher of Vocal Process (must be redeemed within 30 days of winning)

We’ll randomly select not one but two winners from all entrants. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, August 2nd.

To be entered, make a contribution or share our campaign between now and Monday, August 1st at 11:59 PM. Be sure to share the campaign link--FundVoiceMessages.com--in a public post, so we can find it and enter you into the contest. You can also tag @VoiceMsgsDoc on Twitter and Instagram! 

Hurry and enter today! 

Official rules

It's a Vocal Process: An Interview with Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher

Did you know that everyone who contributes to the Voice Messages Indiegogo campaign at the $15 level and higher receives access to the webinar of their choice from Vocal Process? Based in the UK, Vocal Process is run by Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher, who are multidisciplinary, multimedia voice educators. We interviewed Gillyanne and Jeremy about how they got their start in voice, their webinars, and why they support Voice Messages. Keep reading to learn more!  

How did you get your start in the world of voice, and what initially attracted you to the career?

 Jeremy Fisher at the keyboard.

Jeremy Fisher at the keyboard.

Jeremy: I trained in oboe, piano and accompaniment at music conservatoire. I’ve always loved working with singers and actors so my career has embraced opera, the classical concert hall, cabaret and musical theatre in London’s West End. In my 40s I studied vocal physiology and technique to add to my experience of working in different music genres. I have a 3-D mind and an acute ear, so I can visualise what is happening inside someone’s voice--it’s very useful when teaching vocal technique!

Gillyanne: I trained in singing piano and violin and did my undergrad training at university. I then worked as a professional choral singer and recitalist for 15 years in the UK. Story songs were my love and moving to working with actors was a natural transition. Working with people who needed to sing but had no musical background really fired my curiosity about how the voice works--not only for singing but also for speaking, shouting, calling and other forms of vocal noise. Working in London’s premier drama schools allowed for much collaborative work between my discipline and the spoken voice disciplines. When I reached my 50s, I realised it was time to dig deeper into what underlies vocal pedagogy and I embarked on doctoral research, specialising in female voice use in different musical genres. 

Vocal Process has a series of webinars, and Voice Messages backers receive a voucher to choose one. Tell us more about the webinars. How did they come to be? Who is a typical customer? 

Vocal Process

We have singing and spoken voice clients around the world in so many time zones, and we found that Webinars were a great way of delivering focused training. Our clients can attend the live event or watch the recording in their own time. We’ve had some amazing feedback from them.

Each hour-long Webinar covers a particular voice topic: spoken voice (healthy speaking voice; pitch, pace and power for presenters); singing voice (warm ups; taking chest voice higher safely; understanding two different types of head voice); vocal troubleshooting (improving range and breathing); performance coaching (exam/audition techniques; changing vocal style without losing your ‘voice’); and teaching skills including how we work with our own clients and diagnose their vocal issues.

 Dr. Gillyanne Kayes (right) coaching a client. 

Dr. Gillyanne Kayes (right) coaching a client. 

Our customers are typically professional voice users, so they could be international opera singers, film actors, recording artists, musicals/cabaret performers or CEOs. We also teach many singing and voice teachers, speech pathologists, singing leaders and choral conductors to apply our techniques in their own work environment and to their specific situation. 

It sounds quite spontaneous when we deliver the Webinars, but we pack a LOT of techniques into each one. We actually spend up to five days planning, building and rehearsing each Webinar.

We were determined to make solid vocal knowledge available to as many people as possible without the hassle of travelling. As one of our participants said, “It’s the best thing you can do for your voice in your pajamas!”

What resonates with you about Voice Messages? Why did you choose to get involved? 

Jeremy saw the trailer almost as soon as it came out. “I was immediately struck by the topic (voice in all its different guises) and the ethos of the Voice Messages team. Having just written our book, This is a Voice, on everything from improving your speaking voice to classical and commercial singing, ventriloquism and beatboxing, I recognised a kindred spirit!”

We were very touched by the way Martin described voice and its emotional impact and wanted to reach out and share some of the things we’d discovered over the years. Offering the Webinars as perks for the documentary’s Indiegogo campaign was a no-brainer for us! 

Tell us where our audience can go to learn more about your books and teachings and how to stay in touch. 

There are so many ways people can find out about us! 

Starting with our books: This is a Voice was commissioned by the Wellcome Foundation, and has 99 accessible and tangible exercises for your voice. Singing and the Actor and Successful Singing Auditions are our two vocal technique books aimed at actors and musical theatre singers. Singing Express is our series for children (5-9) with over 100 original songs and techniques appropriate to each age group. 

We’ve also created bestselling technique DVDs, we run Singing Retreats for performers and teachers on our estate in Wales, and we give personal coaching and masterclasses by Skype to voice users all over the world.

The best way to find out what we’re up to is to join our email list on www.vocalprocess.co.uk. We send out special offers and reports via our free eZINE every few weeks. Also on the website we have a whole host of freebies including Six of the Best Apps for singers, and the famous Vocal Process downloadable larynx. We’re about to add our BBC interviews with Cerys Matthews MBE, and our Guardian Science Podcast on voice, so you can hear us talking about our love of all things vocal.

If you’re a social media fan, Jeremy runs the @Vocalprocess Twitter feed, and Gillyanne runs the Vocal Process Facebook page.

Our byline is “sharing information, promoting expertise” and we’re very happy to be doing both with Voice Messages. Cheers!


Get a Vocal Process webinar and help Voice Messages reach its fundraising goals by contributing to the Indiegogo campaign today.

  

 

Voice Messenger of the Day: John Leehane

We're so grateful to the growing community of vocal experts, performers, teachers and voice enthusiasts who have contributed to our Indiegogo campaign, helping us make our documentary film about the unsung power and beauty of the human voice. You're truly making it possible to finish our film. Meet today's "Voice Messenger" of the day!

VoiceMessenger_JohnLeehane.jpg

Name

John A. Leehane 

Title

Of an age Artist

Who is your personal vocal mentor or inspiration?

My vocal mentor or inspirations number three. All ladies...
#1, Rachael D. with her measured tones.
#2, Kate W. with her Iow, extra special level of attractive delivery, which encapsulates knowingness in a humour all her own.
#3, Lauren L., who is a person in the UK media, and frankly just has me smiling at her vocal character. 

What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone who wants to do what you do and is just getting started?

To achieve say, a modicum of such individuality one notices this difference of self to others around. I believe it to be by dint of regards towards others and with a peaceful approach to all, and all circumstance. There is no secret to getting started, though for myself it is an artful place I have arrived at. Good luck and bon voyage.

Tell us why you contributed to the Voice Messages Indiegogo campaign.

I figured that I'd been influenced not only by a few persons and their physicality, but by their voice and meanings too. I wished to help enable this project out of my own curiosity.

Tell us more about you.

Well, what may I tell which is helpful to the reader? Smiling, I can say I have of an age discovered my leanings into the written and pictorial arts. I am very undereducated to think I may impact by my own design into any area or echelon of these topics. However, after the past few years of scrabbling around and acquaintance with ways and means, I hope to add to that general motion I perceive in the world which is begging for peaceful and settled and renewable ability within it. I hope to help create a Planetary ease up and chill down. I believe in this aim... thanks. 


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Creating the Art of the Voice: Artist Alice Thompson

 This hand-printed poster for  Voice Messages , created by artist Alice Thompson, is the star of the Art of the Voice campaign perk. 

This hand-printed poster for Voice Messages, created by artist Alice Thompson, is the star of the Art of the Voice campaign perk. 

Artist Alice Thompson’s beautiful, handmade screenprint is the star of our Art of the Voice campaign perk. We asked Alice to tell us more about how she made this limited-edition, one-of-a-kind visual celebration of the human voice.

How did you get your start in screen printing and what attracted you to the medium?

I made my first screen print using a basic kit. I created a small darkroom in a closet and exposed my screens using a lightbulb and pie-plate. My exposures were uneven and the stiff plastic squeegee was clumsy. I signed up for a summer workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and learned about mesh counts, ink modifiers, squeegees, and basic registration. My screen prints were much improved, but when the class was over, I didn’t have access to professional equipment. Fortunately Philadelphia’s Second State Press had all the equipment and resources I needed. The secret to learning about any art form is to involve yourself with a supportive community. Each studio has unique equipment and procedures because there are many ways to approach screen printing. Taking a class, going to a critique or looking at work in an unfamiliar venue can be very enriching. 

How did you conceptualize and execute the beautiful design for our posters? 

Detail of Alice Thompson's screen print poster for Voice Messages. Click to enlarge.

In my print, the abstract voice bubble, composed of swirling white lines, represents the physical presence of several intermingling voices. Drawing people engaged in the act of singing and speaking revealed to me that the entire body, simultaneously graceful and awkward, is involved in shaping the voice.

Designing a screen print is like creating a fancy stencil and each color is printed in an individual pass. Therefore, my four-color screen print required four separate hand-drawn positives and print runs! Each print is created entirely by hand and no two are exactly alike.

 Artist Alice Thompson making the  Voice Messages  screen print poster. 

Artist Alice Thompson making the Voice Messages screen print poster. 

To execute my print, I carefully drew my images onto clear acetate using oil-based black Sharpie pens to create my positives. Scratching into inked areas of the positives with a razor makes delicate gradations, as in the spotlight at the feet of the guitarist. The positives are used to block UV rays when the screen, coated with a light-sensitive photo emulsion, is exposed in a darkroom. The UV light hardens the emulsion and the soft areas shielded by the positive are rinsed away by a strong jet of water, leaving open areas of mesh on the screen. The ink is forced through these open areas with a squeegee when screen printing.

I was able to achieve very delicate lines and fine details in this print by using a screen with a 305 mesh count. The higher the mesh count, the finer the holes are in the screen. My print has a painterly quality because the streaks in the marker lines are visible, particularly in the dress of the center figure. I owe these details to a good exposure and high mesh count.

I printed this edition and many other works featured on my website at Second State Press, a wonderful non-profit printmaking studio. 

What resonates with you about Voice Messages and why were you interested in getting involved? 

When I learned about the subject of this film, I was immediately intrigued. The average person, myself included, might use their voice as a rudimentary tool and overlook the nuances of this aspect of their persona. History, until very recently, was viewed through sculpture, painting, and my personal favorites… print and photography. The sounds of history only existed in description, written music, and aural traditions. This film promises to reveal the deeper truth about something that was once ephemeral and is now indisputably part of our analogue and digitally recorded history.

Tell us where we can learn more about you and see the rest of your work.

Please take a look at my website to learn more about my art: www.alicethompsonart.com.


If you’d like to get one of these prints for yourself, check out our Indiegogo Campaign and choose the Art of the Voice, Voice Expert, Kitchen Sink, Inner Circle, or Rolls Voice perks. 

 

 

 

 

Voice Messenger of the Day: Natasha Marchewka

We're so grateful to the growing community of vocal experts, performers, teachers and voice enthusiasts who have contributed to our Indiegogo campaign, helping us make our documentary film about the unsung power and beauty of the human voice.  You're truly making it possible to finish our film.  Meet today's "Voice Messenger" of the day!

NAME:

Natasha Marchewka

TITLE:

Voice Talent and Presentation Skills Coach (Voice Presentations Ltd.)

WHO IS YOUR PERSONAL VOCAL MENTOR OR INSPIRATION?

Vocal Mentors… Singers: Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, Karen Carpenter, Oleta Adams, Annie Lennox, India.Arie, Eva Cassidy…and countless more.  Voice Talent: Randy Thomas, Tish Iceton, and many more whom I only know by voice and not by name.

WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO DO WHAT YOU DO AND IS JUST GETTING STARTED?

Decide if being a freelancer/entrepreneur is in your blood, then, ask other voice talent the hard questions about money, time, and energy to determine whether voice acting is right for you, beyond the sound of your voice.

TELL US WHY YOU CONTRIBUTED TO THE VOICE MESSAGES INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN.

Beyond verbal communication, the voice and all its nuances deepens all communication and the full expression of who we are. I am fascinated by all that is elicited by the voice and this documentary explains this phenomenon from every direction.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION.

Being a “Voice Talent” came to me as a bit of surprise, as did being a “Presentation Skills Coach”. A graduate of Radio and Television Arts and a Singer, my business is a natural extension of my education and passions and yet, I spent a lot of time flitting about, moving from one side of Canada to the other, one side of the US to the other, plus the Caribbean for good measure. And yet, through the magical power of technology, I am able to run my business with the flexibility of a gymnast voicing commercials and business videos from my home studio and communicating with coaching clients over the phone and Skype. I love what I do. The voice, technology, creativity…all coming together.

Website: http://NatashaMarchewka.com

Twitter: @NatashaVOX

Facebook page: http://facebook.com/NatashaMarchewka


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Voice Messenger of the Day: Mary Jane Copps

We're so grateful to the growing community of vocal experts, performers, teachers and voice enthusiasts who have contributed to our Indiegogo campaign, helping us make our documentary film about the unsung power and beauty of the human voice. You're truly making it possible to finish our film. Meet today's "Voice Messenger" of the day!

MaryJaneCopps.jpg

NAME:

Mary Jane Copps

TITLE:

CEO/Founder, The Phone Lady (Telephone Talent Inc.)

WHO IS YOUR PERSONAL VOCAL MENTOR OR INSPIRATION?

My immediate thoughts were actress Lauren Bacall and jazz singer Betty Carter, but my journey to honouring the power of the human voice on the telephone starts with my mom, Eunice Connolly Copps. 

I grew up in a small northern community, far away from my mom’s family and many of her friends. But even the friends that lived nearby had their hands full with growing families--or were housebound by harsh winter weather. The phone in the kitchen was my mother’s lifeline and its “ring ring” or the sound of the rotary dial was, for me, an overture to theatre. 

Her listening and laughing, the story telling and offered advice, her organizing of events and meetings--and sometimes the tears and frustration--became the background music of my pre-school years, and made me believe that the telephone had a powerful magic.

I still do believe that--well, maybe not the magic part. But what I’ve come to understand, as I’ve moved through a career that’s included typewriters and Dictaphones, Dewey Decimal and microfiche, smart phones and 3D printers, is Marshall McLuhan’s theory holds true: “…people are changed by the instruments they employ.” 

For me, the change, the connection, that occurs when we pick up the phone and speak to each other, rather than click away on our keyboards, is incredibly powerful.

WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'D GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO DO WHAT YOU DO AND IS JUST GETTING STARTED?

It really is as simple as picking up the phone and calling someone, having a conversation. In business, you do have to prepare for your calls. Phone conversations have a lot in common with public speaking, so there is thought and effort involved. But to use the power of your voice to connect with others and sustain relationships, simply phone your friends and family and talk to them.

TELL US WHY YOU CONTRIBUTED TO THE VOICE MESSAGES INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN.

I believe in the power of the human voice. In song, on the screen, in conversation, on the radio … there is so much information in the sound of our voices. Our voices are an essential part of how we communicate. I’m concerned that we will accept an unintended consequence of technology--abandoning our voices for words on screens.

TELLS US MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION.

Much to my surprise and delight, I am living my life as The Phone Lady. I work with businesses and organizations that want to communicate with their clients and prospects, showing them how to use the telephone to inspire conversation. 

Website: www.thephonelady.com
Twitter: @thephoneladyca


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