Training your ears..
I’ve just been asked to learn a new accent for an audition. ‘Posh Geordie’ is what is required. I’ve trawled the internet to realise that whilst finding a Newcastle accent is possible, finding a more gentrified version is not easy. Andrea Risborough is the closest I’ve got.
I’m struck by how difficult it is for me to pick up the subtle tones of her speaking voice. My ears feel lazy, unprepared and unready to listen and understand this new music. It made me think of how much we rely on visual stimulation to process information at the expense of our listening skills. In this digital age we are bombarded by visual stimuli through our phones and computers. How can we start to hear each other in finer detail? Start to see with our ears and not just our eyes?
The power of processing information aurally is done unconsciously. By becoming more conscious of the way we sound through actively listening to the way people formulate their sentences, when they breathe, the tune of their voice, we can gather masses of information about a person’s cultural heritage and surrounding environment.
It’s a challenging exercise to see how much you can pick up about someone by only listening to them. I’m listening to Geordie excerpts I’ve taken from You Tube and endeavouring to mimic these. So far, I’m realising that the shapes of the vowel sounds mean I have to use my mouth more rigorously than with my natural RP accent.
By Charlotte Lucas
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