PATSY GALLANT’S USE OF VOCAL TECHNIQUES: CONSTRUCTING AND RECONSTRUCTING A FLUID MUSICAL PERSONA
Abstract: In this paper, I examine how and why Canadian pop singer Patsy Gallant continually and strategically changed her musical persona between 1972 and 1984. A virtuosic and versatile vocalist, Gallant explored a variety of expressive and vocal techniques and possibilities in her recordings from this period. She also experimented with the different sounds and expressive qualities of the English and French languages. As a result, she played with a fluid artistic persona and offered a myriad of meanings and experiences to her listeners. For this research, I will study Gallant’s voice on four different moments, analyzing her recordings. For some topics, the audio from the original vinyl records will be digitized and enhanced with audio processing tools. Special focus will be given to vocal expression, use of language and lyrics. I will then interview Gallant regarding these elements of her recordings to provide a first-hand account on her artistic vision and creative process. I will contextualize my findings using both scholarly and media texts in addition to audio and video documents about Gallant; developments in Canadian popular music; and the music genres with which the artist identifies. The conclusions will highlight the importance of vocal use in the development of Patsy Gallant’s artistic persona and contribute to larger discussions in popular music studies about political economy and enre, particularly in the Canadian context.
Bio: Alexei Michailowsky is a PhD in Music candidate at York University in Toronto, Canada. A specialist in modern pop music, electronic dance music and music and technology, he obtained his first PhD in Music at UNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). After carrying on several research projects on Brazilian music, he is currently focusing on Canadian pop music and dance music scenes in Canada.