About the Key of T performance
Key of T is an interactive autoethnographic performance experience that uses Ari’s singing voice transition with testosterone to explore connections between voice and identity. It creates space in the categories “man” and “woman.” It asks you to question what you think you know about someone based on the sound of their voice. It asks you to listen to the sound of your own voice and the voices of others.
Key of T features Ari, a collaborative pianist, and a local choir. It uses Ari’s experience of gender and voice transition as a provocation to ask 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 of Ari’s changing voice, projection, soundscape, and singing.
A local choir learns one or two songs ahead of time, rehearses with Ari, and becomes part of the performance. The performance includes a song cycle by Canadian composer Carmen Braden, using lyrics based on Ari’s poetry and a choral arrangement by Zachary Wadsworth.
Spectators can participate in the dialogue about voices and identity throughout the performance, including by contributing to a live/improvised soundscape.
Stay tuned for updates!
Past performances & events
La Pocha Nostra International Summer School (June 12 – 18, 2023) Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Singing in the Key of T (June 24, 2023) – 26th Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Singing in the Key of T (October 15, 2022) Mayo Clinic “Principles in the Care of Transgender and Intersex Patients,” Phoenix, Arizona.
Singing in the Key of T (July 4, 2022) – National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
Singing in the Key of T: Voice, Gender, and Change (May 21, 2022, 9 – 10 am) – Podium Choral Conference and Festival, Toronto, Ontario.
Key of T (May 4, 2022) Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Intricacies of Trans* Voices (February 19, 2022), New York Singing Teacher Association.
Exogenous Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice** (June 6, 2021) Annual Symposium – Care of the Professional Voice, The Voice Foundation.
Key of T** (April 22, 2021) The Latest Research On…, University of Calgary and Calgary Public Library.
Exogenous Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice**(March 9, 2021) Choir Alberta and Spiritus Chamber Choir.
Collaborating in the Key of T** (November 7, 2020) – Revoice: Choral music discussed by leading artists, McGill Choral Studies.
Key of T: Screening and Research Showcase** (September 3, 2020) – UCalgary Pride and Knowledge Engagement.
A Farewell to Altos (and Sopranos) (November 20, 2019) Woolf’s Voices 26, at Shelf Life Books, Calgary, Alberta.
Key of T** (short film) (May 19, 2020) Fairy Tales Film Festival Calgary Queer Arts Society.
Key of T** (May 2019) Spark After Dark, Telus Spark Center (science museum), Calgary, Alberta.
Key of T: Voice, Identity, and the Gender Binary** (July 5, 2019), Performance Studies International Conference, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
Singing and Your Voice: What’s gender got to do with it?** (June 30, 2019), Camp fYrefly, Calgary, Alberta.
Key of T: Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice (March 30, 2019) Transgender Singing Voice Conference, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana.
ConcerT: A Research-Creation Project on Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice** (June 27 – 29, 2018) International Symposium on Singing and Song II, St.John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice** (May 18 – 21, 2018) Unison Festival, Calgary, Alberta.
Testosterone and the Transgender Singing Voice** (April 13 – 14, 2018) Transgender Voices Festival, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Key of T (March 23, 2019) The Coming Out Monologues YYC, New Central Library, Calgary, Alberta.
Biology, Fate, and My Voice Transition (March 21, 2018) PechaKucha Night Calgary, Martha Cohen Theatre, Calgary, Alberta.
**with Laura Hynes
Photographs from Key of T performances
September 27 – 28, 2019
University Theatre, University of Calgary
Content Warning: This piece includes explicitly trans-antagonistic content.
Ari Agha, sonic artist and singer
Melike Ceylan, sonic artist for “Simple Gifts” material
Erin Reed, content warning
To learn more about trans and queer legislation and news, check out Erin in the Morning.
Support local transgender creators and organizations, some of Ari’s favorites are:
- G.R. Gritt, a Two-Spirit, Transgender, Francophone, Anishinaabe and Métis artist
- Rae Spoon, a non-binary performer, composer, music producer, visual content producer/director, and author
- Trans Housing Coalition, an Atlanta-based, trans-led, and founded organization aimed at getting chronically homeless black trans women off the streets
- Skipping Stone, an organization in Calgary, Alberta, that connects trans and gender-diverse youth, adults, and families with comprehensive and low-barrier access to supports
- TransQueerPueblo, a shelter for LGBT+ migrants of color in Arizona
- Equality Florida, a civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community that’s been doing some great work for transgender folks in the state.
Finally, check this list of Organizations Supporting Trans People in All 50 States for organizations to support.