Thursday, July 12, 2012

When Vocal Difficulties Cease to Exist

"From the easy, unconstrained motion of the fingers, from the beautiful touch, from the clearness and precision in connecting the successive tones, from the advantages of the new mode of fingering, from the equal development and practice of all the fingers of both hands, and, lastly, from the great variety of his figures of melody, which were employed in every piece in a new and uncommon manner, Sebastian Bach at length acquired such a high degree of facility and, we may almost say, unlimited power over his instrument in all the keys that difficulties almost ceased to exist for him."

These words popped as they appeared before my eyes in a biography of Bach I had been reading (Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician, by Christoph Wolff).

The little bubble of excitement, desire, and enlightenment they stirred up in the pit of my stomach  made me want to just jump out of my bed at 11:00 at night and go down and practice voice. (Of course, I waited for the morning.)

This is what a student of voice works for his/her whole life.  To get to the point where vocal difficulties almost cease to exist.  To reach the point of vocal freedom.  To have unlimited power over our instrument.  To have an  unconstrained motion of the musical sung phrase.  A beautiful touch, onset.  Clearness and precision in connecting successive tones, legato.  To employ ourselves in every piece in a new and uncommon manner!

Ah ... the stuff dreams are made of.

It has been roughly 27-28  years since I embarked on this journey, although the quest to surmount the difficulties was present in my singing before I ever took a lesson, so in a sense, I've been trying to solve the mysteries of the vocal difficulties my entire life!!

Finally, I can say that I am getting somewhere.  Many difficulties have ceased to exist for me, and I see the possibility of present difficulties being solved as well.

What took so long?  There was a major big imbalance blocking my way for so many years, and there had not come along anyone who was able to identify or explain it to me, and there had not come along anyone who could specifically address the issue.  Removal of this major imbalance required me to let go.  Let go of a grip I had on my voice that somewhere along the line had convinced me it needed to be there in order to have control.

At long last I have got myself in a situation where this imbalance has been identified and addressed and it is opening up my voice to it's true nature!  It's a very happy time, even though it has come late in my life.