Wednesday, April 20, 2011

La Voce

Demetrio Stratos (or Efstratios Demetriou) is one of a kind!
Born in 1945 in Egypt by Greek parents, he studies piano and accordion at Conservatoire National d'Athènes. At the age of 13 he moves to Cyprus and then Italy where he attends Politecnico di Milano University.
In 1972 he forms one of the most successful Italian progressive/jazz fusion bands, Area.

His vocal explorations gain him a worldwide status and collaborations include: Mogol, Lucio Battisti, John Cage, Andy Warhol and others.
With Area but also on his solo works he continues to explore the possibilities of vocal spectrum. He studies ethnomusicology, compared musicology, Asian chant, psychoanalysis and focuses on the relationship between vocal sound and the psyche and the limits of spoken language.

Here's Giro, Giro, Tondo from Area's LP of 1976 Maledetti

His voice and technique is studied and documented by professor Franco Ferrero who claims:

“Looking at what I have found during the emission, the vocal folds did not vibrate. The frequency (for a human voice) was very high (vocal folds do not succeed to exceed the frequencies of 1,000–1,200 Hz). In spite of that Demetrio obtained not one, but two not harmonic hisses, one that descended from 6,000 Hz, and the other that climbed from 3,000 Hz. Therefore, it could not be supposed that one hiss was the next harmonic of the other. I observed also the emission of three hisses simultaneously”

Check his "flautofonie" technique live in this video (demonstration starts at 2:25)

Demetrio Stratos is using overtone technique and other chant techniques to achieve diplophony, triplophony and even quadrophony, that is to produce multiple sounds simultaneously using the human voice.

Check his diplophonies and triplophonies in Investigazioni from Cantare La Voce album of 1978

He dies in New York in 1979, at the age of 34.

Demetrio Stratos web site

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