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.