Friday, December 18, 2009

Connecting Singing to Primal Self

I was having one of those primal moments this morning.  It was one of those moments when I felt that life was way too hard.  I was in tremendous emotional pain, and I just didn't feel I could go on another minute.  If a state like this comes on me when I've just pulled the car into the driveway, I get paralyzed and cannot get out of the car.  And it did happen like that this morning.

I sat in the car and wept over the steering wheel -- that deep kind of wail of despair.  But the really funny thing about my being an artist, is that while I am in the midst of this very primal experience, there is a little student of life sitting there observing the experience and taking notes -- almost like an out-of -body kind of experience, like those stories you hear about people who die and float out of their bodies and watch all the doctors and nurses rushing around trying to revive them.

"This is interesting," the student of life, thought.  "There is a very deep connection to the muscles of support while she is doing this wailing"

"Is that sound going to hurt her vocal cords?"

"I wonder if any of this can be useful to her singing?"

"Can we put this into Voi lo sapete?  I mean, it's pretty deep emotion."

Well, right then and there, in the midst of my despairing moment, I had to jump out of the car and rush myself into Frescamari's Practice Room and dig out "Voi lo sapete."  As quickly and carefully as I could, like someone who is trying to carry a ripped bag of groceries into the house without spilling anything, I transported those precious primal physical feelings into the house and into the chamber of song.

You know, we don't have to be experiencing actual deep grief and pain in order to be connected to that emotional experience while we are singing.  We just have to be experiencing the physicality of it.  Our bodies were designed to connect to our voices when we are in emotional states.  Wails, moans, outcries, screams, laments.  Feeling that connection helps us understand how the whole apparatus works and why we have it to begin with.

Pay attention to what your body is doing the next time you are feeling anything very intense in your life.  Allow yourself to have the freedom of an outcry, and wail like a baby, even though you are a grown-up.  And while you do, pay attention to what it feels like, because it's going to help you get your high notes.
Frescamari's Practice Room Today:  "Recent Vocal Insights Applied to Voi lo sapete and Mon Coeur"

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