What happens when a singer risks it all to forge their own path?
Key of T began when Ari Agha (they/them), a transgender singer, started taking testosterone to seek relief from misgendering. They didn’t know how testosterone would affect their singing voice, and there was little research to guide them. Would they lose everything they had worked so hard to achieve?
Key of T is the story of how Ari’s voice changed from taking testosterone, and what happened afterward. This story is told through performance, through research, through film, and through advocacy, consulting and teaching.
Key of T is many things — community, scholarship, cultural, personal, embodied. Key of T seeks to intervene in and destabilize the gender binary and the white supremacist, colonial, cis-heteropatriarchy that sustains it.
Key of T is an interactive autoethnographic music/theater performance. It uses Ari’s experience of gender and voice transition as a provocation to create space in what it means to be a (mis)gendered human in the world with a range of multiple, simultaneous, and contextualized identities. The performance includes storytelling, documentary video from Ari’s changing voice, projection, soundscape, and singing.
Key of T is the first rigorous, empirical research on transgender singing voice transition with external testosterone. Because little to no research already existed on this topic, Ari documented each stage of their voice transition, publishing research papers, journal articles and other pieces along the way.
Choir consultation and voice lessons
Ari offers consulting with choirs working to create singing communities that actively include (not just “tolerate”) people of all genders. Ari’s consulting considers impacts of white supremacy, colonialism, and patriarchy on choral communities, and can include recommendations on ensemble policies and practices, one-on-one discussions with organization leaders, and larger group trainings. Ari also offers in-person and online voice lessons, either one-on-one or in small groups.
Ari’s experiences with taking testosterone and documenting their voice transition has been captured in a short documentary film, Key of T. The film has screened at film festivals and awards shows across North America.