Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Throw your voice..."

It happened last night. I was playing string bass for vocalist Allan Harris at the Cocoa Beach Jazz Fest. They called me at the last minute; Allan's bass player had a car accident on the way to the gig and couldn't make it. Allan was introducing the band. Someone told him I was a ventriloquist, and he mentioned that in his introduction.

Then Allan did what all ventriloquists fear. He said, "Throw your voice." I kind of blew it off, but in the car on the way home I worked out something for the next time that happens. It is inspired by a bit I saw Mike Palma do. You have to know the distant voice technique to do this. Here's the bit (NV is your normal voice, DV is your distant voice.)

NV: Without a dummy, I'll just throw my voice into my hand. [Hold up your open hand] Hello! [quickly close your hand in a fist as if to catch the thrown voice.] Now the voice is in my hand. Let's let it out. [Open your hand]
DV: Hello!
V: Let's try it again. [open hand] Hello, Sir! [close hand, wait, open hand]
DV: Hello, Sir!
V: One more time. [open hand] Al Stevens (insert your name, of course) is a good looking guy/gal! [close hand, wait a few seconds, open hand]
DV: Horse feathers! (or expletive of your choice)


Blogger StevoTheo said...

Al, Stevo here.
Great idea, hope to see a lot of vent related good stuff here !

3:43 PM  

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