Other Voices

Creative Education Kit

NSW Department of Education

Video transcripts

Other Voices


LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Hi. My name’s Lamorna Nightingale.

ALEX MANTON: And I’m Alex Manton.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Other voices is a performance, recording, and education project based on three new electroacoustic works for flute and electronics by Australian composer educators, Cat Hope, Tristan Coelho, and Fiona Hill. It provides access points for young composers, performers, and their teachers to explore the potential for combining electronic music with instruments and voice.

ALEX MANTON: This education kit provides detailed lesson plans and resource materials for stages four, five, and six, including music one and music two. The activities in the kit draw together the key learning areas of composition, musicology, performance, and oral skills. The content utilizes a range of musical genres from pop to art music to assist the students in their understanding of the electronic genre and to provide a stepping stone into the art music of today.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: There is much to be explored through this music, including extended flute and vocal technique, creating soundscapes, graphic score interpretation, and basic computer electronic skills for exploring techniques such as delay, reverb, EQ, looping, and effects.

All technological components within the kit come with videos with step by step instructions on how to use them and how to best implement the technology within the classroom for teaching and learning purposes.

ALEX MANTON: We hope that you enjoy exploring what the electronic genre has to offer and that it assists you in how to effectively teach this exciting and engaging style of music to your students.

The collaborative process

ALEX MANTON: Hi. I’m Alex Manson, and I’m here today with composer Fiona Hill, flautist Lamorna Nightingale, and soprano Jane Sheldon, and we’re going to have a discussion about the Other Voices kit. So, firstly, what was the inspiration behind this kit, Lamorna?

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: My inspiration was really Fiona approaching me, wanting to write a piece for flute and electronics. And I was quite excited by the idea because I hadn’t done very much with electronics. And I was like, oh, this is a good opportunity to learn how to play with all the microphones and get some great sounds. And then I thought it would be also really great to share that knowledge with the broader community, with other flute teachers and with classroom teachers, and of course students because if I didn’t know very much about it, then probably there are other people out there that didn’t know that much about it either.

ALEX MANTON: Fiona, why did you choose to work with electronics?

FIONA HILL: Electronics is a medium that I’m really drawn to, especially because I feel like it opens up a whole new layer of sound that you can explore as a composer, especially when you’re combining live instruments with electronics.

ALEX MANTON: Excellent. As a performer or composer, what are the biggest challenges in working with electronics? Jane, would you like to start?

JANE SHELDON: Well, I personally don’t have a lot of expertise actually with electronic processing or with the technologies despite having performed a fair bit of music using that medium. And the reason I’ve gotten away with that is by having experts like Fiona, who really do understand how it works to make sure it all– not just that it runs right when you’re performing it, but also that element of the piece is constructed in a really fine grained way that takes into consideration the fact that there are acoustic sounds in the same environment.

ALEX MANTON: Excellent. Lamorna, what are your challenges in working with electronics as a flue player?

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Well, even just the basic stuff, like knowing how to work as an amplified instrument are quite a challenge, I think, like knowing how to set up a speaker system, where to put a microphone to make it actually work as a flute player, how to balance levels. All the really basic stuff I think is quite a challenge. And then, when you have the added element of making some quite complicated music. Yeah. It’s quite an interesting challenge. Yeah.

ALEX MANTON: And, Fiona, challenges for you?

FIONA HILL: I think as a composer you’re always trying to imagine how everything’s going to sound while you’re writing the piece, so really trying to imagine the acoustic instruments and the electronics and how you want to meld them together. So for me, I love exploring the option of amplifying the instruments and processing those instruments to really help blend electronics and the acoustic instruments. And of course, the other challenge is also how playable is it. Is the performer going to be able to interact and still feel comfortable as a performer while they’re performing with the electronics?

ALEX MANTON: Yeah. Can you describe the relationship between the performer and electronics and performing the piece? You kind of did in a way then.

FIONA HILL: Yeah. Sure. In my piece, in particular, I think– well, the backing track I formed by using the instruments. I recorded both Jane and Lamorna singing, playing, speaking, and that really formed the bed of the backing track. And that really then helped me to meld the other instruments in when it came to writing the live part of the piece. So I think that really kind of helped to meld it.

ALEX MANTON: Mmhmm. And Lamorna, your relationship with the electronics?

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Yeah. Well, I mean, playing Fiona’s piece is quite interesting because it has this set backing track. And because of that, it’s really important to stick with the timing of that track. So we decided that the only way to actually do that successfully was to have a timer and to put the timer on your music stand and to be following the timer along with the music at the same time with the printed music. And of course, making chamber music together. So that’s quite a big challenge in Fiona’s piece. In Tristan’s piece, more of the challenge is kind of hearing myself playing and then hearing my own process to sound kind of coming back at me. So it feels a bit different. It’s a bit like playing a duo, really, with myself.

ALEX MANTON: And Jane, do you have anything to add to that?


ALEX MANTON: The relationship between yourself and the electronics as you’re performing.

JANE SHELDON: Yeah. It’s interesting. Depending on what the other electronics do, I can be very, very aware of them or I can just trust what’s going on as this layer on top of which we’re performing. Sometimes it feels very interactive and other times it feels like something going on concurrently, and I’m sure both of those feelings are all by design.

ALEX MANTON: What was the process of collaboration between the performer and composer in helping the piece come to fruition?

FIONA HILL: Well, for me as a composer, it was really drawing on the expertise of these amazing performers because they can tell me so much about their instruments that as a composer I don’t know. So we did a lot of workshopping with instruments and especially with the extended techniques, working out is this possible, what’s the best sounds, what are the really cool sounds that you can make that I can put in my piece. So for me, that process was really integral to writing the piece.

ALEX MANTON: And its performers, anything to add to that?

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Well, I mean, it’s just so exciting to be working with living composers and actually having any sense of collaboration at all because as classical performers we are often playing the music of dead composers. And if you have a question, there’s no one to ask. But when you’re working with Fiona or Tristan or with Kat, then if there’s a question, I can ask them and we can work together to get the best result rather than it being this kind of fixed thing. So yeah.

ALEX MANTON: And lastly, do you have any tips for young composers or performers who wish to explore writing or performing electronic works? Jane, as a vocalist, any tips?

JANE SHELDON: I think in putting a work together, rehearsing it, and preparing it, give yourself the time to ensure that someone in the room has really mastered the operation of the technology because, you know, if you were to think, I’m sure I can sort of work out how to do this and rush that process, when something goes awry with electronics in performance live, firstly, that’s not good in the first place, but secondly, you need someone in the room who can fix it. So I would say the biggest piece of advice I would give is make sure that there’s someone there who is an expert who can either take care of that element entirely themselves or can give you really, really thorough instruction.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: And I would just add to that, be curious and enjoy the process of experimenting and having fun with it because working with electronics is actually really, really fun because you can do such amazing things to your own sound in a way that you just can’t do in a natural kind of environment. So yeah, just be curious and enjoy it.

ALEX MANTON: Fiona, for the composers?

FIONA HILL: Yeah. I’d follow on from what, well, both Lamorna and Jane was saying really, that have fun, explore, listen really widely, listen. There’s so much electronic music out there, listen to as much as you can. And then find out how to do it yourself. And there’s so much technical information and things that it is really important to know, but it’s also about exploring. So it’s getting that balance right of really opening your ears to the possibilities and discovering your own possibilities, and then knowing your equipment and your software and the technical requirements, but then also knowing the instruments and what the instruments are capable of.

ALEX MANTON: Great. Thanks everybody for your time today, and congratulations once again on the Other Voices kit.

JANE SHELDON: Thank you.

Additional resources

FIONA HILL: Hi, I’m Fiona Hill.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: And my name is Lamorna Nightingale.

FIONA HILL: In this video, we’re going to show you the ideal setup for amplifying a live instrument in a classroom. We’ve got a lot of equipment here. So I’m going to go through a name-it-all now. First up, we have a microphone, and that’s on a stand. Then I have a laptop. I have an audio interface, which we use for getting the sound into the computer, and then sending the sound out of the computer. I have a mixing desk and I have some speakers.

I’m now going to show you how to put all of that equipment together so that you can get the sound from the instrument into the speakers, and it sounding great in your classroom. So the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to make sure that I have the power connected on my laptop because that will make sure that you don’t suddenly lose sound halfway through, and make sure that you get a pretty constant kind of signal coming through your computer.

Next, I’m going to make sure that my audio interface is plugged in. Now, these audio interfaces come in all different shapes and sizes, and they often have different cables that you’re going to need. My one today has USB cables, so I make sure that the USB cable is coming out of the audio interface and the USB cable is going into my computer. You may come across things like FireWire cables, but most of these audio interfaces these days use USB cables. Occasionally, they’ll also have a power input that you’ll need to plug in.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: And you do sometimes need software on your computer to run the audio and interface.

FIONA HILL: That’s true. So you’ll always need to check when you purchase the audio interface the information on the product that you have. So my audio card is plugged in. I’m now going to make sure that my microphone is set up and ready to go. So the microphone is on a stand, and the stand is set to a pretty good height for when the instrumentalist is going to play, so obviously the microphone will be in different positions depending on whether you’re playing a guitar, whether you’re singing, whether you are playing a flute.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Yep. Actually, normally, when you’re playing the flute, it’s quite nice to have your microphone up quite high so that you don’t get too much breath sound. For today, I’ve just put it down low so that you can see my face.


FIONA HILL: So once you’ve got the mic set up onto the stand, we’re now going to plug it in. And in this case, we’re using an XLR cable. On the XLR cable, you’ll notice that there’s three small holes, and those holes line up with the microphone when you plug it in.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Make sure that the speakers are off when you plug in your microphone, or else you’re going to get a popping sound.

FIONA HILL: This XLR cable then comes all the way around and plugs into the audio interface. So you’ll have a male and a female end of the XLR cable and you just need to check. It will be pretty self-evident which end goes where. So this end here is going to plug in to my input of the audio interface. And I’m using input number one. So I’ve plugged that in. Now I need to make sure that my sound card is going to go to the mixer so that the sound can come out of the speakers.

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Hang on, Fiona. What’s a sound card?

FIONA HILL: A sound card is just another name for an audio interface.


FIONA HILL: Thanks, Lamorna.


So the audio interface or sound card is now going to have cables plugged into it so that the sound can come out of it. So, usually on an audio interface you’ll have stereo output. And those outputs are labeled. Sometimes they’re labeled left and right or 1 and 2. In this case, they’re labeled one and two. You’d always use 1 for left and 2 for right. So I’m going to take, again, XLR cables in this case. Sometimes audio interfaces you will use a 1/4 inch jack, which is a slightly different cable.

So the XLR goes into output 1 and then into output 2. And then I make sure that I follow those leads and I know which one I’m plugging in. So I’ve got my output 1 coming from the audio interface, going into the mixer. So I’m coming in to line 1 on the mixer and I’m coming into line 2.

On this mixer in particular, there’s a little button which asks whether I am using a microphone or a line input. In this case, because it’s coming from an interface, I need to make sure that it’s going to align input because I’m not plugging a microphone directly into the mixer.

Now I need to plug the speakers into the mixer so that the sound can come through the mixer and go out to the speakers. So these speakers here have 1/4 inch jack cables. So they are going to go into the outputs on the mixer, and then we need to make sure that the cable is plugged into the speaker. And Lamorna, if you wouldn’t mind doing the other side. Great. Thank you.

Then I need to make sure that the mixer is turned on. So there’s a power button on the mixer. So I’m pressing that now to turn it on. And then I need to make sure that I have the levels or the level of the sound turned up on the mixer, so my level input, so coming from the audio interface to the mixer. I’m turning up level 1, which is the left side of the sound, and then I’m turning up level 2, which is the right. And then I have the master level, which is this red knob here, which I’m turning up. So now we have the levels up. Lamorna, if you play we should get a sound coming out of the speakers.


Recap of additional resources

SPEAKER: Now I’m going to do a quick recap of how all of that equipment is plugged in. Firstly, make sure you’ve got your power going to your laptop. Make sure that your audio interface is plugged in with the USB cable. Make sure that your microphone is plugged in with an XLR cable going in to the audio interface. Make sure that the audio interface is going out into the mixer and it’s set to line level. Make sure that the speakers are plugged into the mixer. Then you turn your power on and set the levels.

Now that’s the setup that we would use for the pieces [? Daybreak ?] and [? Margot ?] because both of those pieces take the live instrument and then send it through the computer to add effects onto the sound through a MAX/MSP patch.

For Cat Hope’s piece, “Her Pockets Full of Inertia,” you could use a slightly different setup where the microphone goes straight into the mixer, rather than through the computer. So for that, we would unplug the microphone from the audio interface and plug it into the mixer, making sure that we turn the levels down first.

So this lead was plugged into the audio interface and I’m now going to take it and plug it in, in this case, to input three. On the mixer, I’m going to make sure that it set to mic level not line level. And then I’m going to turn the level up on the mixer.

For the playback part of Cat’s piece, you could use a phone or an iPad to playback the backing track, in which case, you can plug that device directly into the mixer itself.


Introduction to Daybreak

Transcript not yet available

Daybreak extended flute demonstration

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Hi. My name’s Lamorna Nightingale, and today I’m going to demonstrate for you some of the extended techniques used interest Tristan Coelho’s piece “Daybreak.” First up is the pizzicato tongue. Now, in this effect, I’m using a really hard tongue effect to create quite a percussive sound.

The next technique is a fast repeated tonguing gradually getting slower, which is quite self-evident, really. Next, I’m doing a repeated tonguing as fast as possible. In the next technique, I’m doing the same type of tonguing, but I’m blowing the air faster at the beginning, then blowing the air slower, then blowing the air faster so that the pitch starts higher, goes low, and comes up high again.

Next is flutter tonguing. Now, you can do this technique two different ways. Either you can roll your R’s like this– or you can use your back of the throat in a kind of gargling sound. I’m going to use the second technique.

Next is a harmonic trill. In this technique, I’m alternating between two different ways of producing the same pitch. First up, I’m using the correct fingering for the D sharp. Then I’m using a G sharp fingering, and I’m blowing the air a bit faster so that the D sharp pitch comes out. And I alternate between those two different fingerings to get a kind of shimmering sound. Last is the whistle.

Her Pockets Full of Inertia

Introduction to Her Pockets Full of Inertia

Transcript not yet available

Her Pockets Full of Inertia flute demonstration

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Hi. My name’s Lamorna Nightingale. And today, I’m going to demonstrate to you some of the extended techniques used in Cat Hope’s piece, “Her Pockets Full of Inertia.”

First up, I’m going to show you a technique used just on the head joint of the flute. So the head joint is the top bit of the flute. And I’m playing a regular sound.


So blowing across the embouchure hole. And when I stick my finger into the end of the flute–


–the pitch goes down. Next up, I put the flute back together. And I’m going to create a whistle tone. Now whistle tone is the really, really high harmonic that we get when we blow really, really slow air.


Next, I’m going to change across to the bass flute, which is the instrument that’s the solo in “Her Pockets Full of Inertia.” So this is the bass flute. And the bass flute is double as big as the regular flute, so it’s double as low. And you can hear some of the sounds as I go down.


So it’s a beautiful low instrument. Now, the first extended technique is a key click. So it’s just–


–the keys being slapped quite hard so that you can hear them. And if I get close to the microphone–


–you can hear them a bit better. Oh, sticking with the bass flute. Next is an airy tone.


So I use a little bit more air than normal to create that tone. Then we have a lip glissando. Now, a glissando is when the pitch gradually changes down or up. In this case we’re going down, so I’m going to bend the flute in towards me.


Next is the pizzicato effect or percussive tonguing. So I’m using the consonant sounds– ta, ka, ch. And when I play them across the flute, you get a little bit of extra pitch there as well.


Next is a multiphonic. Now, usually when you are asked to do a multiphonic on the flute, you use a special fingering to get two different notes to come out at the same time. In this particular situation, I’m blowing one note and then singing a different pitch to get the two different pitches to sound at the same time.


Next is the “sh” sound. So in this technique, I just say “sh” over the flute, and we get a little bit of pitch and quite a lot of “sh” sound.


And last is the tongue ram. Now to create the tongue ram effect, I totally cover the embouchure hole with my mouth. And I ram my tongue into the embouchure hole like this.



Introduction to Imago

FIONA HILL: Hi, I’m Fiona Hill. My new work, “Imago”, has a very serious and emotive origin. It’s a response to the stories of those affected by forced adoption within Australia. The work layers texts derived from victim transcripts, interviews, and government hearings, with live and processed flute and voice, with musique concreté derived from domestic soundscapes.

Imago flute demonstration

LAMORNA NIGHTINGALE: Hi. My name’s Lamorna Nightingale. And today, I’m going to demonstrate for you some of the extended techniques used in Fiona Hill’s piece, “Imago.”

First up is a harmonic. To create a harmonic sound, I use a low note fingering, in this case a low D. And I blow the air slightly faster so that a higher harmonic pitch comes out, in this case an A.


The next effect is called a timbral trill. And in this effect, I’m using two slightly different fingerings for the same note, an F and an F that’s a little bit lower. And those two notes alternate to create a kind of shimmering effect.


Next is a multiphonic. Now a multiphonic is when two different pitches are sounded at the same time.


Next is a tongue ram. Now, to create a tongue ram effect, I need to totally cover the embouchure hole with my lips rather than blowing air across the embouchure hole. And I make my tongue ram into the inside of the flute to create a popping sound like this.



Next is the flutter tongue. To create a flutter tongue sound, I can either roll my R’s like this–


–or I can use the back of my throat in a kind of gargling effect.



Next is an airy tone. Now to create an airy tone on the flute, you need to use quite a lot of air that’s directed quite cleanly over the top of the embouchure hole. And the tone is airier than what a normal flute tone is.


To create percussive articulations on the flute, we use consonant sounds like “ta,” and “ka,” and “ch.” And when you play them across the flute, you get this kind of sound.


In this technique, inhale and exhale, I’m inhaling and exhaling while I totally cover the embouchure hole of the flute.


Next is a microtonal scale. Now microtones or quarter tones are the notes that fall in between the chromatic notes.


In note bending, I roll the flute in towards me so that I bend the pitch down.


Imago voice demonstration

JANE SHELDON: My name is Jane Sheldon, and I’m a soprano. And I’m going to be talking about the extended vocal techniques used in Fiona Hill’s composition Imago. The first technique is singing an approximate pitch with some breath tone in the sound. So the important thing to note about extended techniques is their exploratory nature. I’m going to make some sounds that you can render by sheer imitation. But I’m also going to tell you a little bit about how to produce them with the most consistency.

So with singing an approximate pitch with breath tone, which sounds like this– (SINGING) ah– you can hear it’s very soft. The pitch is not entirely stable. And a strong vocal sound is inhibited by what’s basically an additive “huh” sound like the sound at the beginning of the word “house.” So though this might seem like you’re singing off your voice and you’ve lost your support, the best way to render it is actually to maintain your support and add this “h” sound to disturb the vocal tone’s core.

So we’ll do it again. It’s a warm and a breathy sound. (SINGING) Ha. The next sound I’m going to demonstrate is a breath tone produced through inhalation. So we all know that the way we usually produce a sung sound and a spoken sound is the air comes out of our lungs, passes through the vocal folds. That’s how we get a sung sound.

But sometimes, a composer wants a sound we call ingressive, which is when the air travels into the lungs. Now this sound is actually a sound that we all would make in our day-to-day lives to express something like surprise. So this sound will be familiar to you if you ever have made the sound– [GASPS]

–because someone has surprised you. In a music composition, what a composer’s asking for is technically the same thing, just elongated, controlled, more consistent. And it sounds like this. (SINGING) Uh. Now it’s an option to make the sound even purer for Imago, Fiona Hill’s looking for a bit of that disturbance in the texture. So you get a sort of wheeze breathy sound. Once more– (SINGING) uh. Remember, start with a surprise sound. [GASPS]

(SINGING) Huh. The next sound is a vocal fry. Now this sound is made with what we would call– it starts from a glottal constriction. All that means is you start from place where you’re stopping any sound getting out. And then you release. But what we’re capturing with vocal fry is the beginning of that release and the type of disturbance it makes in the sound. It sounds like this.

(SINGING, RATTLING) Uh. Now in Fiona’s piece, she wants some pitch in that sound to interact with that glottal sound. And so what you get is (SINGING, CRACKLING) uh. It’s a sound with a lot of distortion. It’s quite eerie, very expressive, and very effective in Imago.

The third sound is simply a wide vibrato. So this is in contrast to, (SINGING) ah, a sound with minimal vibrato, (SINGING) ah, a sound with a little bit of vibrato. What wide vibrato is, is just an exaggerated version. (SINGING LOUDLY) Ah. You can really play with that, throw the sound around, move your– shake your larynx around. (SINGING LOUDLY) Ah. It produces quite a lot of sound, projects quite far. It’s very ringing and resonant.

Lastly, I’m going to talk to you about feathered beaming. Now this is actually a notation that appears not just for vocalists but for instrumentalists as well. In Imago, feathered beaming is applied where I make a “tt” sound. So it’s a very percussive, dry sound. And with feathered beaming, you can go from slow to fast or fast or slow. I’m going to demonstrate fast to slow.

What you see on the page is a beam– a sequence of notes with a beam that is graduated if you get wide-to-narrow or narrow-to-wide. With wide-to-narrow, you’re going from fast to slow. So the front of that sequence of pitches, if isolate that, looks kind of like a hemidemisemiquaver. The last one will look kind of like a quaver, and it goes like this. (SINGING) Tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt, tt.

Parachute jump

SPEAKER: I’m going to talk my colleagues here through a vocal warm-up exercise derived from the Musical Features Program in the UK. It’s called the parachute jump. What we have is a story that enables us to make a whole lot of vocal sounds that warm up our whole vocal apparatus. So, guys, I’m going to describe this story for you, and then we’ll do it all together.

So first thing, we’ve got a parachute person, a person walking along and they go–


Then they need to get into a lift. So they press the button.


They get in the lift, they go up many, many, many, many floors to the top of the building in the lift.


Then the floor gets announced by the bell.


They get out of the lift and they got to put on a parachute. So how do they do this? One side, the other side. They go–


They go–


Join it together.


And then we jump out of the building with our parachute above us and we go–


But when we get to the ground, the parachute doesn’t worked. Splat. And that’s the parachute jump. Shall we?


SPEAKER: OK. You’ve got a person and–









OK. Beautiful. The thing about the parachute jump is it’s a story that we can add to. So when we do this exercise, we can ask everyone in the room to contribute some change to the story that has a vocal sound attached to it. So, Fionna, what would you add to the story?

FIONNA: An ambulance comes.

SPEAKER: OK. At the end after the splat?


SPEAKER: And that sounds like?


Let’s do it.










Nice one. Ramona, what would you add to the story?

RAMONA: Oh. Maybe a bird flies by.

SPEAKER: As you’re flying through the air?

RAMONA: As you’re flying through the air.

SPEAKER: And what would that sound like?



OK. Great. So now we’ve got a bird and we’ve got an ambulance. Let’s do it.












OK. Alex, what would you add?

ALEX: Oh, maybe you get electrocuted by the buzzer as you pressed the buzzer at the bottom of the lift.

SPEAKER: So it’s really good we got the ambulance.

ALEX: Yeah.


So maybe a–




ALEX: Yeah. Sort of, ding, and then a zzz.

SPEAKER: Got it.

ALEX: Yes.

SPEAKER: Let’s do it.













And that’s the parachute jump.

Creative arts resources

How to access resources

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The Creative Arts Grant Initiative

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About the Other Voices project

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Benefits to teachers

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