When migraine arrives, not only the body suffers. The voice too is impacted by a condition that introduces itself with such great force. As a migraine-suffering singer I notice these changes and become fascinated by the aesthetics of a failing voice in a failing body. This exposition reflects upon the relevancy of Migraine Music as an aesthetic phenomenon and by focusing on the specific area of the vocal and the sonant, I project the issue into a broader context of language, speech and communication. First, I find the migraineur’s voice to be missing as it is silenced by society. Then, I study the failing of the voice when constricted by intense physical pain and I turn to the voice as it is transformed by migraine-specific symptoms. I study these deficiencies of the voice on a theoretical level in order to approach them through my artistic practice as a migraining singer. The artistic work accompanying this research is entitled Impulsive Incantations, and aims at voicing the migraine body through evocative text, vocal improvisations and a migrainous singing technique.
This essay and audio piece explore how the related experiences of illness and isolation problematize the clear spatial opposition of “outside” and “inside.” Adopting the dialectical models, proposed by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his phenomenological study of outside and inside, I aspire to take aural notice on how the migraine sufferer’s sense of space shifts in sync with her sense of self throughout a migraine attack. Composed out of vocal sounds and domestic noises, recorded in and around the house, this piece merges the materiality of the room and voice in a conversation that balances on the edges of meaning. Juxtaposing one unto the other, both self and space get lost in displacement, matter melts and disappears into one roaring drone.