Throughout her career as a performer and composer, Joan La Barbara, a hugely influential figure in the sphere of contemporary experimental music, has explored the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument, developing a true and signature vocabulary of experimental techniques. She uses these techniques to explore the potential range of timbres in a single pitch, circular breathing inspired by French horn playing, and multiphonics, in addition to recovering classics such as choral singing.
A wide array of composers, for instance John Cage, Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman, Merce Cunningham, Kenneth Goldsmith and Philip Glass, have written specific pieces for La Barbara’s voice, and her extensive career brought her recognition in 2008 when she was awarded the American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction for her contributions to the sphere of contemporary American music.
Voice Is The Original Instrument, programmed by the Museo Reina Sofía with the sponsorship of Estrella Damm, Joan La Barbara presents a broad repertoire of vocal works, combining some of her early pieces with internationally renowned works and her own compositions.
With the sponsorship of:
Part II (45')
Circular Song  *(SA) For amplified voice alone. Premiere: December 19 & 20, 1975 at Environ, NYC. Recorded: "Voice is the Original Instrument", Wizard Records RVW-2266, LP released 1976; Recorded for Lovely Music CD3003: "Voice is the Original Instrument", released 2003.