The Well is a global network that supports and inspires vocal practice, collaboration, self-inquiry & human connection through the art of improvising music with the voice and body.
We are performers, teachers and students, choir directors and members, composers, sound healers, body music practitioners, music therapists, nature collaborators, community organisers, folk and Indigenous music holders who bring the essential qualities of vocal improvisation to our work.
Vocal improvisation can take so many forms that we cannot name or define them all. It might be practised solo, in small groups, or within large gatherings. With or without leaders, roles, rules, or facilitation. It may or may not include words, groove, harmony. It may or may not involve movement. It might focus on musicality, spirituality, self- expression, social bonding – the possibilities go on and on.
The music might be created by a conductor, as is the case in circlesongs, a form named and popularised in the 1980’s by Bobby McFerrin, or co-created by participants, as is the case in collaborative vocal improvisation (a term originating from the UK) or co-improvisation (a term used in France, Belgium and Switzerland), a model that gained its first systematised teaching approach in the 1990’s with Rhiannon’s Vocal River curriculum.
We believe that vocal improvisation has been an integral part of human expression and music-making since ancient times, a spontaneous practice woven into oral traditions from around the globe. It is an art form pertaining to humanity itself; connecting vibrant global communities such as those originating from Brazil’s Música do Círculo, Rhiannon’s Vocal River, Denmark’s Vocal Painting, France’s Chant pour Tous, Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs School at Omega Institute and in California, USA…
Read a note from Rhiannon, The Well’s founder, as well as discover our founding members.