Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

On Singing

Ever wondered what it would take to be able to project your voice like a cantor? Pauca Lux ex Oriente, who has cantored for Byzantine litugies for a number of years, has posted his advice for developing your vocal technique, inspired by a conversation with his deacon.
He asked whether I would be the only one singing, and I told him “yes”. Fr. Irinaeus then said that he was just as glad that I had come, because he couldn’t sing as loud as I could. I asked him whether he had ever received lessons in voice when he received his diaconal training, and he said that while there was a teacher with an operatic voice who taught him and others how to chant, he had received no vocal training. I said that that was a pity, particularly since I could teach him all that he needed to know about vocal technique in five minutes. He said, I’d like to see you try. So, I said, all of good singing can be summed up in the following words: balanced, suspended, crucified, open, incense, humming, and shifting.

This is just the advice one needs if, like me, you spent a semester in voice class in college with an increasing frustrated teacher telling you that if you would just relax everything would come so much easier.

2 comments:

Bernard Brandt said...

By any chance, did the so-called teacher include the following words in his instruction?:

Relax, dammit, relax!

Seriously, though, thank you for your good words about my contribution. I'm seriously considering inflicting more upon the (we)blogosphere.

MrsDarwin said...

My teacher told me that I had a vocal block that would probably take about three years to overcome. And she was quite right -- it took about three years after the class for me to finally absorb much of her instruction. Don't know why. I was never any sort of prodigy...

Still, I wish I had my sister's gift -- she wants to become an opera singer, and has the talent and poise to do so.