Margaret Pikes BA Hons, P.G.C.E. A founder member of Roy Hart Theatre whose first 7 years of training were under the guidance of Roy Hart. Margaret continues to collaborate with Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, after having been a visiting research fellow for several years.
I trained with Roy Hart and began working with him when I was still at University studying for my BA in Philosophy and Sociology. I later also obtained a PGCE. I have been a teacher of the Wolfsoh/Roy approach to vocal expression internationally for more than 40 years. I was voice teacher at the Conservatories (Dramatic Art) of Liège and Brussels and have also been a voice coach for, among others, the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre company; the award winning Kindle Theatre Birmingham, blueCinque in Turin, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland and Theater Labor, Bielefeld.
As a performer I participated in many of the Roy Hart Theatre’s experimental performances including ‘the Bacchae’, ‘And’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Musiques pour Marsyas’. I then developed my career as a professional singer of many genres from jazz to chanson française, including with Michèle Bernard in ‘des Nuits Noires de Monde’. I was also the soloist in the oratorio ‘Canto General’ (Mikis Theodorakis and Pablo Neruda), singing with many different directors and choirs in France and I sang (with Petros Pandis,) for the Premier of this work in the USA. I also devised and toured several one-woman shows of French songs and sketches. (Record “Voyages” 1989)
From 1995 – 2001, I lived and worked as a teacher in Togo, West Africa, where I also sang with the jazz trio Anima (the excellent bassist and singer Arcadus Didavi, continues in Berlin http://www.afrikadelle.com) and with the gifted singer and performer, Joe Coo ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i1fzYrEq_4 )
In 2011/2012, I was “The Singer” in “AGNES AND WALTER: A Little Love Story,”(artistic director Neil Paris), with the Dance Theatre Company SMITH, which toured UK and played at the Edinborough Festival (Zoo Southside).
I lead voice workshops at beginner and advanced levels and was based in Cologne for 10 years. This year, I have returned to France, to live in Montagnac (departement of the Herault.) I also teach in London and am currently working on a research project at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I believe that exploring and developing the voice can be a powerful tool to help personal development and artistic expression, when it is linked to a disciplined and open-minded exploration of life and human relationship.
MARGARET PIKES’ approach to WOLFSOHN /HART VOICE WORK
“Owning our voices”
Margaret has developed her approach to vocal exploration through her training with Roy Hart, who in turn based his work on the pioneering research of Alfred Wolfsohn. Wolfsohn was a survivor of the first World War who became an innovative and radical voice teacher, after voice and song had been central to his own recovery from the traumas of that war. Wolfsohn liked to quote from Nietzche: “Learn to sing, oh soul.”
Our voices provide us with one of our most basic means for expression and communication. Exploring this marvellous instrument not only opens up a greater range of expression but can be fascinating and fun. This release of blocked energies can lead to a feeling of greater empowerment and so to the development of a deeper engagement with life.
The production of vocal sound is a complex phenomenon involving not only physiological processes but also the world of emotions and instincts. The roots of the human voice are based in the body and in the spirit, and an exploration of these roots can reveal often surprisingly powerful vocal colours, textures and dynamics.
Added to this is the fact that producing vocal sound has a two-way effect. Not only does it communicate with the listener, but the vocalist also can be physically affected by the sound produced, in a profound and liberating way. This can lead to new connections to the voice and to a greater freedom and range of artistic expression.