It’s very windy tonight. It looks like a sudden storm that meteorologists will not have seen coming. I had fallen asleep after my workday and the squalls against my window woke me up. I then sat down at the piano, played a few chords and, as I had been doing for the past few weeks, I made jumps from fifths. From C to B, two octaves higher.
Three years ago, I was screaming victory for shouting a B-flat. Since then, the high A is not bad and I am gradually learning to hear and sing the B flat, sometimes the B, then the C. This weekend, while singing these same straight lines while baking my bread, I pushed a note that I thought was strange. I went to see what I had achieved. A C#, my dear.
It was not a beautiful note, but it was no longer a cry, but rather the appropriation of a new ear.
I have been stubbornly studying singing for four years, year in and year out. Rediscovering these high pitches that I have so often been accused of is not without pain, but it is worth it. There are many obstacles, starting with age, these high notes coming out of my mouth are no longer juicy like those of my first hormones. Whatever, if there is a grace achieved this year, is the pleasure of sitting at the piano and pouring, not tears, but a song. I let myself go more and more, to reconnect with a discreet, very personal soul. I’m getting more and more dismissive of analysis. I just need to change and sing.
The classical technique may not be, at first glance, the best therapy, as it looks like vocal CrossFit. For example, I have to assimilate some rather painful vocal exercises, designed for professionals. I can barely do it and without too much musical subtlety, because I am still too imbued with academicism. When I was young, I would have spent hours vocalizing on Rubini (one of the first great tenors who had a voice as loud as a young lady).
Then, I am not as assiduous in my exercises as the expense requires. Is that money thrown out the window? An accountant will say yes. But I can’t stop. I gave up the choir because it was too demanding and, in the end, unsatisfactory (for both the spectator and the singer). I only agreed to be part of a small ensemble and that’s the maximum I can do.
Beyond these worldly considerations, there is the singing, the emotion and the health that it brings. There is this chest that rises, there is this throat that frees itself, there is this heart that consoles itself.
It makes me want to do solos and I recognize here my deep desire to communicate, to commune. I write to connect with others, I sing to attract sailors. Come to think of it, it’s the same as learning Portuguese. I am enrolled in certain methods that put me in touch with people. It looks like the same quest (and the same drama?).
Does singing soften morals? Yet mine remains lecherous. It’s a good thing my voice is draped in a method to hide my obscene thoughts.
I like that word, obscene. Off the stage. Finally, the best theatre is the one outside our soul, between the legs and synapses of the human condition.