We’re now into Week 5 of the Improvisers’ Choir project, with 3 rehearsals and one Vocal Tai Chi workshop behind us already. It’s time to meet our next Improviser: Sarah Jenkin, singer, composer, teacher and actor with a West End role under her belt and years of experience in choir and community settings.
Tickets are now on sale for The Improvisers’ Choir first public performance on Saturday 5th December at the Vortex (Dalston), with the option to participate in a pre-concert workshop with Jenni Roditi and choir members.
How would you describe your voice?
I would say that my voice likes to move around. It likes to bounce around exploring all parts of its range and push against what feels possible. My background is in the theatre and I studied a degree in theatre arts and English, so I feel myself leaning towards a sense of drama and telling a story through the voice.
What are the main improvisation experiences that you have had before TIC?
I guess for me writing or creating a new song always feels like an improvisation. Picking up the guitar with a feeling of opening up to the possibilities and as I strum a few chords, seeing what evolves with my voice over the top. Some days, it’ll be like a switch has gone on and a song or hook will suddenly take shape and pop out of the ether, born out of play and improvisation. Similarly writing harmonies to songs, I will listen to the main melody line and just open myself up to whatever I feel will fit. I aim to let the voice find its way and explore the possibilities. So whilst these examples are different to what we are doing in the improvisation choir – there are elements that are very similar and in a sense, the voice being in service to what is required in the heat of the moment.
What have you noticed about your experiences in TIC so far?
The Improvisers’ Choir feels both familiar and also like a totally new experience for me. I have always loved to scat and improvise and create with other musicians, usually instrumentalists, but The Improvisers’ Choir has opened the door wide open and it feels amazing to be singing in this group of voices.
I’ve also rather longed for the experience of performing without the constraints of song structures and with total freedom, but didn’t really know how that could happen. Suddenly this opportunity has arisen and I find myself in the midst of this kind of no-holds-barred experience, where it is as if you have permission to tip off the shelf and fly into the unknown.
The level of the other singers feels very high and it is amazing to be working with them and I am constantly surprised by the sounds we make. It is a very exciting project and I am very interested to see how it develops.