Innere Gesang: The Voice as an Expressive Device of an Inner Sound, an Inner Song

Bruno Pereira

ESMAE – Porto Polytechnic institute / i2ADS – Porto University, Portugal


In the troubled times in which we live, the society of the spectacle has been rethinking the way a performance should be presented. An important point of this reflection is the fundamental relationship with the audience, an entity that has been changing rapidly. The focus of concern turns out to be external to the performer and, ultimately, external to his/her own artistic practice. There is a necessary concern in the way of mediating the relationship between performative action (the output of the performance) and its reception, but it seems unbalanced the relationship with the seminal process, pre-performative, of building a thought that sees, in the corporeal effectiveness of the performance, the possibility of building physicality from the intangibility of that thought.

Once this imbalance is speculated, then it is important to pay attention to the less visible side of the process. It’s interesting to investigate the moment of creative germination that, starting from an internal thought, builds its future appearance using the system voice-body as a device for a tangible expression of that same thought. This moment of creative genesis is a moment of great turbulence created by the tension between thinking and doing; between the greater freedom of thought and the physical limitations of the body; between silence and the vociferation of a sound; between the non-linearity of thought and the linear constraint of the chronos; between the spatial immateriality of what we think and the presence of a body in space; between the search for a performative singularity and the validation of the convention.

We dive into the methodological belief that it won’t be possible to work outside of its own practice and, therefore, we assume the essential need to investigate starting from the artistic practice and its intrinsic processes. In this rhizomatic movement towards a utopian territory of freedom, it is essential to know how to listen. Learning to unlearn so that my vision of the World is disconnected from myself. Conceptually, the subject is discarded as a form of permanent self-reinvention while seeking to give way to the constitution of a new language that exists beyond the subject, the performer. It is the Foucaultian possibility of creating a language that is not spoken by anyone and the speaker only imposes a grammatical fold on it, exteriorizing it, in ephemerality.

In this utopian approach to the doing, we navigate within non-idiomatic possibilities via free improvisation (or tendentially free improvisation as I prefer to name it). With this improvisation space, built using concepts such as intuition and impulse, it is intended to promote the emancipation of a vocal discourse, organic and singular, always based on the methodological principles of qualitative research, deeply practice based, claiming an approach to the democracy of experiences and methodological abundance. It is intended to assert that it will always be through performative experimentation that this same performative practice can be transformed, strengthening simultaneously the reflections that orbit it.

(3 minutes of performative speculation, shared with the peers/audience, about a possible innere gesang)

Keywords: Voice, Improvisation, Performance



Bruno Pereira Singer, performer, researcher and teacher. He holds a degree in lyrical singing and a post-graduation in opera. Working closely with composers, he premiered several new works and, in the last few years, after more than 15 years intensively performing opera, he has been researching and performing within the field of contemporary performance and vocal improvisation. In this context he has created and performed works such as Quartas Paredes, Borderline 194, Suspensão/distensão v.1, Canções para voar, etc. He has been actively performing and teaching in very different contexts in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, Turkey, Slovenia, Russia, Lithuania and Brazil. Member of i2ADS – FBAUP, where he finds an interesting context for interdisciplinary and contemporary artistic research projects. He holds a PhD in Arts – Contemporary performative practices where he developed a deep research about voice, body and improvisation which are still his present interests.