Turned Voice is an artist-led course that works with the singing voice in experimental, theoretical, and psychological contexts. Over three days, Sarah Ruth, Justin Jones, and Christina Carter will present divergent ideas, methods, and practices related to the art of singing.

Sarah Ruth – Voice As Primary Instrument

Voice As Primary Instrument will survey basic vocal technique and exercises, expansion of vocal range, and care for the voice. Ruth’s workshop will also utilize improvisation techniques to free the voice as well as address any individual’s specific vocal struggles.

Justin Jones – Phenosong & Genosong

Phenosong & Genosong is a two-part investigation into the relationship between the voice and language, inviting participants to consider the social, aesthetic, and political systems that govern the ways in which we use our voices—both musically and in daily life. Whose song are we singing? Tracing a line between the work of semiotician Roland Barthes and improviser-composer Pauline Oliveros, the group will collectively explore various means by which we might reclaim the voice as an embodied apparatus of pleasure, intimacy, and healing.

Participants will take part in Deep Listening exercises, collaborative writing processes, collective improvisation, as well as written & dialogic reflection as we inhabit the “fringe of contact” between the voice and its “mother tongues.”

Christina Carter – Song As Thought

Song As Thought looks at the internality of singing, wherein the singer is inspired by their own unique, individual patterns of voice, speech, and thought. Drawing on three decades of experience in underground music, Carter will explore the body of knowledge gained on the path of a deepened personal engagement with the voice.


Icosa Collective

916 Springdale Rd.
Building 2, #102
Austin, Texas 78702



Friday, May 31st – 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. -Sarah Ruth – Voice As Primary Instrument

Saturday, June 1st – 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Justin Jones – Phenosong & Genosong

Sunday, June 2nd – 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Christina Carter – Song As Thought


The fee for each individual course is $20 per day.

The fee for attending all three days is $50.

Send admission fee to event organizer Spencer Dobbs via PayPal to sedobbs@gmail.com. Send as “Personal” with the note “Voice.”

Classes will be capped at 20 people per day.

**No previous singing or artistic experience is necessary to attend.**

All participants will receive supplementary course materials in the form of an artist chapbook, suggested listening and reading guides, and other as yet determined wild-minded resources related to the course.

Those wishing to attend but unable to cover the course fees may contact Spencer Dobbs at sedobbs@gmail.com to discuss alternative arrangements.

Contact Spencer Dobbs at sedobbs@gmail.com for any payment issues or workshop questions.

About The Artists

Sarah Ruth is a diverse musician and artist. A multi-instrumentalist, she employs hammered dulcimer, harmonium, electroacoustic sound art, and extended vocal techniques. She performs frequently both solo and with multiple bands and improvisational ensembles in the North Texas area. She is a University of North Texas graduate where she focused on vocal studies and electroacoustic composition. She has also studied with Meredith Monk and members of her vocal ensemble.  

She enjoys varied collaborations and has worked as a sound artist for art and photography installations and an accompanist for modern dance. She tours nationally and her recent albums have been released on Pour le Corps Music, Tofu Carnage Records, and Obsolete Media Objects. 


Justin M. Jones is an improviser, vocalist, writer, and educator from Houston, TX.  Working from a radically extended lyricism, Jones deploys queer reading-writing practices, teacherly gestures, and electronic augmentations of the voice in pursuit of new and often aberrant pleasures.

He has performed with artists including Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Joe McPhee, Jaap Blonk, Sandy Ewen, Jason Jackson, and Jesse Kudler. His performances and workshops have been presented by Alabama Song, The American Composers Forum of Philadelphia, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, DiverseWorks,  Blaffer Art Museum, Rhizome, Lawndale Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Suoni per il Popolo. His most recent recording, a collaboration with Joe Wozny and Gabriel Martinez called Go Decay, was recently released by Anahuac Editions. Jones is president of the DiverseWorks Artist Advisory Board and Project Coordinator for Nameless Sound.

Christina Carter was born in the bayou city of Houston, Texas in November of 1968, and co-founded the group Charalambides there in December of 1991. She has deeply mined her own vein of sound-as-music with voice, guitar, piano and keys, utilizing extended improvisational guitar passages within and without song-medley structures and investigated ‘the song’ as a thing unto itself, specifically concentrating on ‘the word’.

In addition to performing extensively as a solo artist, Christina has played and recorded in various groups and duos with Joe McPhee, Maria Chavez, Loren Connors, Ryan Edwards and Thurston Moore.