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My singing, my voice

Last Jan­u­ary, a post on singing, then noth­ing more on this theme. I make myself fru­gal in every­thing, silent­ly ques­tion­ing myself about the mean­ing of doing as much this as that. 2017 has its sur­pris­es in store for me. First, I solved my finan­cial prob­lems with a big sweep. As a result, I am poor­er for a while but free to do it again. In the same vein, my work changes with­in the com­pa­ny. I’ll take the plunge, I’ll give up in return the pro­gram­ming that has often served as a pay­ing hob­by for me, a self-for­get­ful­ness that put cin­na­mon in my oat­meal. You could say I’m reach­ing a high­er lev­el of incom­pe­tence. That would sim­pli­fy the intangible.

Still, in 2017, which is only in its ear­ly adult­hood, a lit­tle chilly for a pubes­cent, I was part of a small vocal group, itself being born. I found the exer­cise dif­fi­cult because I was the only tenor strug­gling with scores that were a lit­tle too exposed for my appren­tice voice.

In 2017 too, I still feel, and per­haps even more so, great fatigue of the soul. Every­thing is going well for me this year, but the enthu­si­asm is thrifty. I stay in bed for week­ends, the ren­o­va­tions I can’t yet afford are still wait­ing. I’m doing the bare minimum.

I am exer­cis­ing, so to speak, my right to sec­ond­ment. It reminds me of an arti­cle recent­ly read on the dark aspects of med­i­ta­tion. You have to be strong and above all bal­anced to walk on the thin, stiff and mer­ci­less thread of aware­ness. You have to be crazy and even more unbal­anced to get drunk on doubts, to be vio­lent to shut your mouth and swal­low the snakes of your sins and past. You have to be alive to want to continue.

That is how I per­sist in say­ing that I per­sist. In the end, it results in this hap­pi­ness to which we must make room in our hearts. So I keep singing. The cur­rent exer­cis­es are not easy. This is nor­mal, the more we progress, the more dif­fi­cult the climb is. You can’t defeat Ever­est with a sim­ple pick­axe. One won­ders why I con­tin­ue. I will answer with why not close to the counter-ut, which I can now reach.

I have to admit that lis­ten­ing to this or that singer launch out on tunes that I am learn­ing, I won­der if one day I will ever achieve this ele­gance. My voice seems so fright­ened to me or, per­haps I should say that I have not yet found where it should be expressed. I have described very lit­tle since those years about the men­tal and phys­i­cal process­es that my teacher is try­ing to anchor in me. He also goes, I’m sure, some­times on a tri­al basis. He cer­tain­ly man­ages to free that voice, and at the same time free me. I seem to have come a long way.

The great­est dis­cov­ery of this jour­ney is the straight­en­ing of the spine and thought. Singing does not tol­er­ate any ten­sion, any restraint. For both soft and thun­der­ing singing, the body is plant­ed in the same place, the legs in roots in vir­tu­al earth, the head all in leaves and the voice is a sap ris­ing by cap­il­lar­i­ty. It seems so dif­fi­cult to explain, it seems so unnat­ur­al and incongruous.

Yet, seek­ing to build one’s voice is doomed to fail­ure. The sound of the body is our truth. It can be mod­u­lat­ed, pol­ished, but it must remain nat­ur­al. Curi­ous, isn’t it ? The hard-work­ing voice of clas­si­cal singers is noth­ing more than the cas­sa­tion of prej­u­dices and fears.

That’s prob­a­bly why I per­sist. To die hap­py, you have to be free. Singing is cur­rent­ly my health, my lone­li­ness, my emo­tion that I have the hon­or and pride to share.

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