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Odeya Nini: Vougheauxyice (Voice)

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The exceptional Odeya Nini explores assorted vocal aspects on her debut album, Vougheauxyice (Voice) —as an instrument that structures textural harmony, tonal animation or illuminates minute sounds; vocals that fit into collages of musique concrete; the kinetic characteristics of vocals in space relating to the body, and obviously, her own extended techniques. For Nini, the voice—in its great spectrum and her virtuoso delivery, beginning with innocent, primal articulations progressing through the most refined usages—is a means of inner searching and immediate, intuitive communication. Voice reflects Nini's entire being, body and mind. As she explains, she senses her voice's vibrations, "feeling the touch of its waves on my skin and in my bones."

Eight distinct pieces feature different approaches of playing with her voice. Nini investigates inner language, shapes and basic sounds. She creates a multi-layered, inventive, sometimes threatening and disturbing puzzle that reveals our very essence as communicative beings. She employs a simple melody, alluding false solfege syllables on "Mi See Ti" in a manner that questions how we define beauty in a voice and how a vocalist takes the role of sonic exhibitionist. "Dalai," after the Mongolian word for ocean, investigates the power of an encompassing wind that determines our atmosphere—the inner and outer one. On "Everyday Cantor" she contemplates if devotional singing is different under a shower head, blurring the distinction between a sacred act or an everyday one, with a focus on the singer's intent. Nini demonstrates her acrobatic, operatic voice in its full richness on "Idioma." Inspired by a random sequence of bird calls, she creates a playful, eccentric, yet highly arresting series of expressions.

On "Tunnel" Nini improvises beautifully and with deep emotion on a traditional Yemenite Jewish folk song to connect her contemporary, experimental and secular self with her spiritually devoted ancestors. She raises the question of the arbitrary nature of sounds and the human process of making sense of such sounds on "Tapestry of Synonyms," a structured collage of unrelated field recordings, including her parents' voices, her grandmother and her partner, friends, livestock, and other everyday sounds. "There Are So Many Things That I Have To Tell You" and "Cyclicality" highlight Nini's voice as a mean to communicate an uncharted stream of consciousness, passing ideas and words that slowly accumulate into intimate, evocative stories.

These pieces feature Nini bare and fragile, but as an imaginative, poetic musician, gifted with an exceptional voice. That voice radiates powerfully throughout her highly original and emotional art.

Track Listing: Mi See Ti; Dalai; Everyday Cantor; Idiomia; Tunnel; Tapestry of Synonyms; There Are So Many Things That I Have To Tell You; Cyclicality.

Personnel: Odeya Nini: voice, bells, field recordings.

Title: Vougheauxyice (Voice) | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: pfMentum

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