We start with Dilara Ayidin-Corbett, a Goldsmith graduate and recently accepted onto the Leadership course at Guildhall, specialising in Irish folk music and Indian classical music. Dilara is also a member of Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble led by Eska Mtungwazi
How would you describe your voice?
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure!! I try to keep a pure tonal quality (so think what you would expect with Indian Classical singing) or find the most “natural” way of expressing myself. I don’t tend to use a lot of vibrato. I have always perceived my own voice as having a soft, bright colour, but I am always striving to find new depths in it and stretch the limits of where it can go (I think working with different styles and also different artists can bring those things out).
What are the main improvisation experiences that you have had before TIC?
Most recently I have been exposed to free improvisational approaches, as I studied my undergraduate at Goldsmiths and wanted to explore contemporary styles and different techniques. Mainly focusing on piano, I had my first introduction of using “extended techniques” (using unconventional techniques, e.g playing the piano strings directly). I then started experimenting with using improvisation within composition, allowing my performers to collectively explore musical ideas, themes, roles, etc.
Before this, I studied Jazz and learnt how to manoeuvre around chord progressions. And even prior to that, the very first thing I learnt to play was a simple 12-bar blues structure, using the scale to mess about! So I feel that I have never really managed to let improvisation go; it is a kind of force coming into my practice at certain points, always fascinating me and pulling me in to a new world of music making. I have really come to acknowledge now that is an inherent part of me and what I do.
What have you noticed about your experiences in TIC so far?
I’ve noticed a lot of positivity and openness from all the members and Jenni. It’s great to be in a space where there are no mistakes! I am becoming more aware of my interactions, the energy (and moods) that I bring to each session, and I feel I am on a course of learning about myself. I’ve noticed that seeing individuals learning and coming out of their own shells also has a kind of “ripple effect” on the rest of the group. I’ve begun to hear some of the member’s “stories” and for me there is a strange sense that each person was drawn to the choir in search of their own artistic and spiritual questions (their own “quest”) and perhaps we are all helping to answer them by simply being here, as part of this process Jenni has initiated.
So far it’s reminded me that there is so much empathic power in the use of voice and body language combined – I think we’re going to create something with lots of emotional charge!