(…A duo of voice and oboe…)
Formed in September 2015, Senso di Voce (Sense of Voice) – Esin Gunduz, voice, and Megan Kyle, oboe and English horn – explores acoustic links between voice and instrument through early music sonorities. These explorations have expanded to include the relationships among the early music of various geographic regions as well as the connections between these sonic worlds and contemporary extended techniques. They search for resistance and energy within the highly resonant spaces in which they perform.
Gunduz and Kyle perform music from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, finding historical and acoustic links among the music of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the middle East and focusing on music written for acoustically enhanced spaces such as religious spaces and ritual domes. Past concerts have included arrangements of music such as Byzantine chant, a piece from the Maftirim tradition of Jewish mysticism, music for voice by Machaut and Hildegard von Bingen, as well as Sardinian and Bulgarian folk choir music.
Their arrangements carefully aim to recreate the spectra and overall effect of the special timbres that belong to each tradition while integrating the space’s feedback to such sonorities. The duo performs in uniquely resonant venues, and thoroughly explores the acoustic possibilities of these spaces in their performances. Past performances have involved relating certain registers of the oboe and English horn to the particular tensions within the tessituras of human voice (like the falsetto register of the tenor voice) in order to emphasize the rich resonance of the combined voices, or drawing connections between the qualities of oboe and English horn multiphonics reflected from metal objects in the space to the harmonic singing of the Sardinian and Bulgarian folk traditions.
These pieces are woven together in uninterrupted programs, the connective thread of which is organized improvisations that have a transformational role, especially in timbre. The duo moves through the space throughout the performance, finding different reflective positions in the venue and forming ever-changing antiphonal relationships. The result is an immersive musical and spatial experience that illuminates and recontextualizes the spiritual and meditative repertoire performed.
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Composer, vocalist, and improviser Esin Gunduz writes music that investigates the energies at play among and between all beings. She explores these energies as visceral sensory experience and sound, building landscapes of her own recorded-voice samples to surround acoustical instrumental textures—and create breathtaking vistas.
Ms. Gunduz performed her works at the (R)evolution Resonant Bodies program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, June in Buffalo, and Sō Percussion’s “Brooklyn-Bound” Series. The performers who have championed her work include Ensemble Linea, mandolinist Avi Avital, and members of the Talea Ensemble and Mivos Quartet. Current projects include an electroacoustic solo work-in-progress for voice and recorded voices about healing from trauma, an open piece for any instrument exploring the bodily experience of physical energies, and a larger electroacoustic ensemble work for ensemble and recorded voices based on the cultural / psychological projections on the Goddess Inanna as inscribed on Sumerian tablets.
A researcher of vocal performance, Esin Gunduz is an adjunct professor of voice at Villa Maria College and holds a PhD in music composition from SUNY University at Buffalo. esingunduz.com
Megan Kyle is an oboist who performs as a soloist, improviser, chamber musician, and orchestral musician throughout the Western New York region. She has recently performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony in Miami. As a soloist and chamber musician, she performs with the Buffalo-based new music ensemble Wooden Cities, serves as a performer and operations director for Null Point, and is a founding member of several chamber music projects in Buffalo, including the oboe/cello duo Parvenue and the quartet The Evolution of the Arm. She teaches oboe and English horn at Houghton College, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY at Buffalo and performs as a member of the Geneseo Wind Quintet. Her principal teachers have included Eugene Izotov, Robert Walters, Alex Klein, and Louis Rosenblatt.