Tuesday, April 24, 2007

rub tummy, pat head, chew gum, walk briskly...

some thoughts to put on paper. I had just realized that in some of my post-audition vocal "noodling" and "vacationing," I definitely had stopped focusing on at least one part of the important things I picked up with my mom during winter vocal bootcampTM.

It didn't really dawn on me until I got to my lesson with prospective teacher #3. Interestingly enough, right away he wanted to try out some different approaches to the necessary registration event for upper register singing. It's not exactly something I would have figured would have made for a good lesson in that it's not something that would likely come together, but at the same time, it's a pretty good test case in a lot of ways (lord knows I need help on this), since it's a somewhat complicated objective to communicate between teacher and student. And, truth be told, success in a short amount of time is usually just gravy and being immediately swayed by that can be a little bit of a non-starter. Still, I was still surprised that we were doing this. It was also interesting that he kept switching approaches on me -- in a way that seemed to be designed to keep me from "getting" the exercise and hence, keeping the responses of the vocal mechanism as "spontaneous" as possible. At least, that would be the positive way of looking at it. (omg, sidebar, can we talk about how I had a serious geeky moment thinking about how P.T.#3 was talking about modalities in describing relaxed vs. lazy and energized vs. tense? I totally had some geekgasm while thinking about it.)

Aaaanyway, what's interesting is that I've already picked up some really interesting things from all three of my lessons, so that's pretty amazing right then and there. From P.T.#1, I definitely focused on allowing my vibrato to come through. Very related to a lesson with a previous new york teacher, when the vibrato is there (and I focus on having it start as soon as I produce sound), the vocal mechanism will be working efficiently. From P.T.#3, we discussed another pat the head, rub the tummy split: vowel dark but tone bright. I hadn't even thought about it like that before. When I was working with my mother, we were definitely trying to get that, but just describing it as two separate sound qualities (vowel vs. tone) definitely help put another dimension of ring to the sound. (Incidentally, this also reminded me that I need to be mindful of the space and the general acoustical resonance I make for each note -- it's not yet habitual -- I was definitely right in thinking that my sound was smaller than I remembered it.) From P.T.#2, there's just a lot of experience going on, but it's always filtered through music and expression, which makes a lot more sense to me anyway. That's how I want to study! (I just have to make sure that this doesn't screw me over technically as a by-product.)

Now I just have to sort out my finances, which are rapidly coming together.

I had never thought I'd really come to like Birgit Nilsson's singing as much as I have recently, and I think it has to do with a lot of youtube postings which show more of the voice and what I think must be a better representation of experiencing it live than many of the other recorded media I am familiar with. As recorded, her voice can seem devoid of legato and lacking the in-person soar of the sound, it can sound a bit dowdy. Certainly not as italianate as the following youtube shows (though still not 100% idiomatic, it's certainly not at all a bad shot!)

I aspire to be more involved, and I definitely aspire to have better coloratura and legato, but for technical assurance and pacing, there really is no better role model, I think.

But I still would want to be the baritone Teresa Stratas!

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