Many classical musicians can suffer from tension and nervousness during solo performance. Self-confidence on stage was always my weakest point. Every time I had to perform or audition was a nightmare; I was afraid I could not control my anxiety on stage and the whole performance would be a complete disaster.
In the past, I have tried several exercises to be more focused on stage, to let thoughts go and build up more confidence during my playing, but none of these really worked so well. Then I asked myself a question: How could I feel more free and comfortable on stage? How could I develop my own voice with my instrument and body so I could become freer while playing?
This research looks at how practicing improvisation and creative body movement, as well as creating one’s own performance together with a dancer, can affect the feeling of freedom and enjoyment on stage. This research therefor explored a practical way to find my own voice. By practicing free improvisation I explored new possibilities of my playing and expression, searching for freedom and greater development of my creativity. This resulted in a generally more free and involved feeling when I played classical repertoire on stage. In addition, body movement courses helped me to be more aware of my body on stage, as well as an improved sound quality.
A project that resulted form the above research was also created, especially to address the question of how to create one’s own performance that comes from the performer’s own voice. The project created was based on the poem Woman Inhabited by Words by Guisela Lopez – a poem that was very meaningful to the me. In the performance I improvised on the viola. The sound of the instrument was modified by a computer while the poem was recited, and at the same time, a contemporary dancer improvised to the music.
In this way, I combined my love of dance and of playing music in order to find a new depth in my performance and performance experience.
My research question was: How can I find my own voice on stage?