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.


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.