2016, Katharina Hauke
The evolution of voice started way before of the evolution of speech (which is quite a recent development in the process of evolution). Hence it allies us with our surroundings on a more basic, fundamental level. A connection through vibrations – via material that connects us (air, water, skin, to name a few) and that can be considered as you, as me, as not a part of either of us, as both of us, as a moving a margin…
Its means of orientation is connection (to our surrounding, both to our species and other creatures as well as to non-living things). The evolvement of speech seemingly replaced this instrument by a (solely human) language that needs translation and that instead of localizing us within our surrounding via connections, positions us by dividing us into an source of information and a receiver of information. A dualism immediately annulled in the act of speaking itself: as we listen to a (human or any other) voice, to sound of any kind, the more ancient parts of our brain react promptly, while the language center and the logical perception of what was said lag behind.
The voice includes the possibility of speech. While on the other hand speech can go as far as to render the voice impossible.
I will equate to speak or to sing (in the most popular sense) with „to use ones voice“. Thereby outlining my understanding of „to play ones voice“. The latter would then imply to wholly become it, to actualize the potentials of the body on behalf of its being a voice, an instrument embodied by its player.
The throat singing inuit women battle each other by singing in a duet, standing close and visibly connected by holding each others arms. A battle is won by whoever lasts longest at singing (and doesn’t start laughing first).
In former times, the women even more so used the partners body as a resonance body for their own voice: by putting their lips close and singing into each others mouths. A concept of identity scarcely to be found anywhere around the world and a form of throat singing that is, even among the inuit, by now as good as extinct.