I am obsessed with origins. I didn't think so before, and it wasn't until I read my friend Betsy's blogpost on the subject that my own fascination with the subject became apparent.
I'm not particularly concerned with my origins -- at least not my familial origins -- but with general ideas of personality- or interest-origins. Maybe something along the lines of what Twyla Tharp calls "creative DNA."
After reading Betsy's post, I realized how nutty I am about origins and witnessing them. It explains my weird, mostly culinary desire to make everything from scratch -- from bread, pasta, and rose water (and secondary or tertiary products thereof) to researching how to card and spin yarn from dog hair [this, thankfully, might stay in the theoretical realm]. I used to think that I was interested in the elaborateness of it all; that I was attracted to their long processes because I am famously (or infamously, in my family) impatient.
I think now that it's because of a deep interest in the elementality of raw materials and witnessing their transformation and transmutations into more recognized objects. There's something about the arcane here and also something of the earth. It also manifests in my research interests too: writing about Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, I was interested in how it emerged and departed from oratorio norm; it explains why I am drawn to early music. There's also an element of contrast here, too -- as I'm interested in Berg more than Schoenberg, in non-Western music/art traditions as they influence, borrow, and interact with the Western tradition.
It also explains, in part, why I hunt down singer biographies and focus intently on passages detailing their training and "creative DNA." To be sure, part of it is/was hunting for assurances that I'm not completely out of my mind for starting studying singing the way I have, but it really can't explain all of it.
Origins are interesting. I'm almost beginning to think that it's an instinctual human interest, though the actual patterns or forms it takes differ. I mean, it can't be a mistake that [in the words of a film critic, paraphrased] "stories of becoming are much more interesting than stories of being."
But hey, speaking of origins, I stumbled across this fun interview with Magdalena Kozena. Her bit on not thinking about technique but instead focusing on expression and giving echoes Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's remarks on how her psychological state almost *is* her technique. AND it's basically what new voice teacher's position seems to be. Huh.
MK Interview 1 2
especially cool is the paragraph in the second in which she talks about singing songs written for men. !! I secretly have this dream of whipping out "nacqui all'affanno...non piu mesta" as some sort of cracked out party piece/encore someday.
Found it! OperaNews interview "Wild at Heart" (Nov96, Vol. 61 Issue 5, p12-17)
LORRAINE: "There are some singers who just have this wide-open, free voice, technically, from the start. But for me that freedom has come gradually, and it's connected to my, well, inner voice. As I become more free, and shed those layers, those skins I don't need, and let go of my past, my voice sort of follows me. I remember doing Donna Elvira, Ms. Torment, at a time when I was really struggling with everything. There were so many obstacles -- high notes, or getting through the aria, whatever -- and I don't think I could even tell whether the struggle was body first or psyche first. I can do more of what I want now, without fear, musically, technically, and it's a huge sigh of relief in my life." (emphasis added)
Instead, here are memorial pieces: OpenSource (audio) SpiderMonkey's Blog
Also, Bach (hello 90s!)