CHAPTER 4 - Other Resources
Sounds of Indefinite Pitch -
Singing through the clarinet (with mouthpiece attached)
Singing through the clarinet on various vowel sounds can create interesting formants (reinforced harmonics) when one lifts the fingers of either (or both) hand from their tone holes. The sound will change drastically between the following vowel sounds: ee, aw, o, and oo. Richard Boulanger asks for this technique in Construction #1 for solo clarinet (1980). The clarinetist is required to sing a drone pitch (B-flat) while fingering a perpetual F major scale from E2 to F3 and back, as fast as possible (Example #66).
Example #66 (click on music for mp3)
Richard Boulanger CONSTRUCTION #1
All rights reserved
Used by permission from the composer
This sound is even more pronounced if the player takes more mouthpiece than normal into his mouth.
It is also possible to re-articulate this sound in an interesting way by pronouncing "le" with the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Other variations include adding a growl-like flutter or vocal portamento.
In the fourth section of Attracteurs Etranges for clarinet and computer tape, Jean Claude Risset writes a repeated low F for the clarinetist to sing through the clarinet (the notation indication is a box around the pitch). He does not specify the vowel sound or timbre of this sung pitch, but since it is echoed shortly thereafter in the tape part, the player should base his sound on what is produced on the tape. Since F2 uses most of the clarinet body as a resonator, the sound is quite dark here.
Example #67 (click on music for mp3)