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Sex Birth Trauma with Kimberly Ann Johnson

Jan 14, 2022

In this episode Kimberly and Marisa discuss vocalizing, breathing, and various similarities between singing and somatics. Marisa shares her evolution as a singer and how somatics, embodiment, and understanding her nervous system was fundamental to embracing her natural sound. They also describe how they began working with each other, how creating sound is an embodied practice, and various ways to create our own authentic sound both mechanically and metaphorically.



Marisa Michelson is a composer, vocal coach and accomplished award winner at the nexus of theatre, experimental music, opera, new music, and improvisation. She is the Director and Founder of Constellation Chor, has taught various renowned workshops, earned her B.F.A. from NYU in Musical Theater, and is a former yoga instructor. Marisa is currently working on her upcoming book “Free: The Embodied Metaphysics of Singing” as well as various workshops that combine vocalizing and nervous system healing. 


What She Shares:

–Her background in singing and performing

–Similarities between singing and somatic experiencing

–Bodily mechanics and spiritual metaphors of vocalizing

–Voice pitch and gender/authority 

–How our sounds are ancestral


What You’ll Hear:

–Language similarities between somatic experiencing, embodiment, and vocalizing/singing

–Kimberly and Marisa discuss their lessons together

–Background in singing, music, and theatre

–Coming home to self before performing as a break from tradition in singing/performing

–Singing as a genuine way of connecting with self and embodied practice

–Paradigm shift while working with singers and composing music after new embodied practice

–Founding and codifying music and somatics

–Differences in voice pitch in relation to gender and authority

–Bodily experience of owning and accepting one’s own voice

–Practice of valuing what comes out authentically and is internal not changing for external

–Various breathing practices prioritize particular ways to breathe but depends on flexibility and context

–Having presence and self-awareness with whatever emotions come in singing, speaking, living

–Element of control in breathing doesn’t allow free relationship to own voice and sound

–Authentic expression

–Practice “letting go” of breath instead of controlling

–Infinite ways for diaphragm to move with sound

–Touch and gentle tapping in breath-work for more subtle movement of diaphragm

–Magic in the letting go and surrendering of breath and less of controlling in big inhaling of the breath

–Existing in a gentler space through breath

–Ancestral sounds and imitation versus authenticity

–Lack of ritual and ceremony in community in hyper-individualistic culture

–Bringing attention to the body and honoring the body

–Infinite human sounds existing in our bodies

–Our bodies and sounds are ancestral

–Artists Marisa enjoys

–Music genres as cultures

–Upcoming classes and workshops on voice and nervous system