Daring high sounds

Modifié le : 2019/07/26

I have to con­stant­ly trav­el in the sym­me­try of the octaves dur­ing my singing lessons. After hav­ing tamed a lit­tle bit the low sounds, I the whis­per­er, my teacher is telling me to attack the A‑flat, B‑flat, B‑flat, etc. He seems to know where he’s going and I’m let­ting myself be led frighteningly.

I dis­cov­er a lot of things up there, start­ing with this obser­va­tion of fear in front of what seems inac­ces­si­ble to me. The throat stops and gets thin­ner. Vin­cent patient­ly encour­ages me not to judge what comes out. I answer him that I have the impres­sion that I have to solic­it the bot­tom of the “kid­neys” and anchor the ster­num, that it seems very phys­i­cal to me, beyond the music, and he explains that there is indeed a ten­sion that is exert­ed on the male singer when he sings high. You cer­tain­ly should­n’t pinch your throat ; it has to do what you ask it to do and it’s capa­ble. I can do it unless I try to pro­pel the note using the throat which is a guar­an­teed dis­as­ter. The voice is there, there is scream­ing in the male singer’s high voice. No more, no less.

Vin­cent also explains that when you sing high notes, you get the impres­sion that the tube is thin in the head and that it does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly sound beau­ti­ful to your own ears. Any­way, I get a lit­tle dizzy, and hot. Let the voice go ! The sweet­ness of a song is not cre­at­ed by glossy soft­ness, but rather by let­ting your heart and emo­tions flow togeth­er. It’s a bit like dri­ving a schooner, with all sails open, putting your arms on a cross like the girl on the Titan­ic, want­i­ng to be hap­py. Just that, want­i­ng to be happy.

I don’t want to turn this down con­stant­ly, but it’s true that singing in a choir usu­al­ly requires you to do the oppo­site, to blend in, to destroy your ego, to always think of oth­ers, to sing espe­cial­ly in a head voice and to blend in with the weak­est voic­es. So I have the cho­ris­ter’s reflex when I’m with my teacher, and the adren­a­line of the soloist when I’m in a choir. On, off.

I still have a lot of bread crust to eat before I’m com­fort­able in these sum­mer regions of the tenor’s voice. How­ev­er, I have the feel­ing that I will nev­er find my place in a choir and that I should per­haps stay with my bari­tone voice when I sing with a group. At least now I’m some kind of sound cement. In a high­er voice, even if my voice is not of that strength that makes the spec­ta­tors’ armpits soak, I still pierce right away. Vin­cent would tell me that it is the oth­er singers who should fol­low me, not the oth­er way around (big pause where reflec­tion mix­es with an inabil­i­ty to respond).

I am already told in the choir that my voice is being heard more. This intrigues the cho­ris­ters because they per­ceive the result of my efforts. I would like so much, even if they are old, retired, young and busy, that they invest like me in this adventure.

It is indeed an invest­ment. A pri­vate class once a week is a drain on a bud­get. It is a pity that our beau­ti­ful soci­ety of illit­er­ate Que­beck­ers does not see the impor­tance of invest­ing in art, in heights, in the sublime.

Final­ly, at least I would have lived by shak­ing a lit­tle bit of the voice. I remain mod­est, I am still old, I will become famous with Les Mailles san­guines, and I will have acquired some let­ters of nobil­i­ty before I die.

We can always dream since that’s what allows us to fly to the heights.