For over 20 years Dr Lisa Young has studied the vocal percussion art form of konnakol, the vocalisation of rhythmic syllables in South Indian classical music and dance.
Due to her desire to understand the art, her Masters and PhD studies incorporated in-depth investigations and integrations into it.
"Being a singer who loves rhythm and improvisation, the study of this beautiful art form has provided me with a depth of rhythmic understanding and vocal expression in this style," she said.
"Konnakol provides a conceptual framework for metered calculations, improvisation, composition, rhythmic comprehension, transference of musical ideas, and expression of musical pulse.
"I like to use both intoned and pitched konnakol as a fully-integrated vocal and musical expression in a Western contemporary voice context, embedding konnakol and wordless lingual sounds to create a unique 'vocal sound-bank' as the basis for vocal expression."
Young's passion for singing has lead her into highly-rhythmic ensemble Coco's Lunch, which will take the stage at this year's Four Winds Easter Festival that runs from Thursday to Sunday, April 18-21.
The band is comprised of five women, most of whom have performed together for 20 years and have toured around the world.
These purveyors of a cappella are known for skin-tight vocal harmonies and stunning live performances and, particularly in the compositions by Young and Jacqueline Gawler, you will hear Indian and African influences.
For instance, at their performance at Four Wind's Barragga Bay Sound Shell from 1pm on Sunday the Indian influences will be heard in Tha Thin Tha and Misra Chappu while the African influences are in Gawler's Chant for Anais.
Young said if you love rhythm and singing, you love vocal percussion.
"The solkattu language (konnakkol) contributes great depth to vocal sound-bank expression," she said.
"As part of the vocal dialogue in the jazz tradition, a vocalist often uses wordless language to improvise 'scat' solos, and to express melodies or rhythmic patterns in a wordless manner.
"In Coco's Lunch our vocal language has a strong emphasis on rhythmic complexity, accessing and expressing a wide array of vocal sounds in the pre-composed structures, improvisations and ensemble dialogue.
"It's a long journey to study it, but well worth it."
She will also perform To Bermi and Back at the free community concert at Dickinson Oval, Bermagui from 5pm on Friday with local musicians.
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