Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Ever since a website published details of his research, suggesting that vibrators were best applied to the vocal cords, Professor David Ley‘s phone has been besieged by information seekers.
Teaching artist Claudia Friedlander got the first interview – click here - and the demonstration video.
Apparently overuse of this technique can cause excessive vibrato………….
The use of vibrators began with its invention in London by a doctor who gave therapy to women for “HYSTERIA”, once a pathological diagnosis describing the symptoms in women who were not having orgasms. Whole clinics in London had practices dedicated to manual relief of this condition, until one physician invented an electrical vibrator that plugged into a wall outlet…
The film, “HYSTERIA”, a comedy directed by a graduate of Yale, just out on DVD, talks about this history.. Here’s a link:
Here is a link to the trailer on YOUTUBE:
ENJOY!!!! Very entertaining movie…
Ha! @Roberto, there’s some interesting resonance here with some much earlier work of mine.
This film is based on a book by Rachel Maines, The Technology of Orgasm http://www.amazon.com/The-Technology-Orgasm-Hysteria-Satisfaction/dp/0801866464/thelibvoi-20. It came out in early 1999 as I was finishing my doctoral thesis, an interpretation of Schoenberg’s monodrama “Erwartung” based on contemporary psychoanalytic theories that more or less pathologized female sexuality as “hysterical”. I ended up quoting Maines extensively.
Very interesting to realize what a vital role vibrators have played in my academic life!
Laryngitis can have many different causes, so to promote this nonsense could even be harmful. There should be a disclaimer “don’t try this at home”.
That’s one of the things that motivated me to talk with Prof. Ley directly. He’s been researching these techniques alongside speech pathologists for more than a year and a half and will present some of his findings at the Voice Foundation Symposium in May. However, it seems that after the University of Alberta posted the video I’ve featured on my blog, the media picked up on the story and now speculative and racy columns about his work are running rampant around the internet. With these devices so readily accessible, lots of people are going to be tempted to “try this at home” long before a protocol becomes available, so I appreciate his willingness to share some of his techniques with our community long before he intended to, and I do hope that the cautionary language included in my post will dissuade people from doing anything stupid.
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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