Befriending a world apart……..the singing voice.
Extraordinary voices whose sounds resonate for a lifetime. Voices that move us to tears and melt our hearts. Voices that teach us to feel. Voices that awaken and give insight. Extraordinary voices from ordinary people who find something extra. A magical world that calls us from beyond reason. Its source is all of us together, joined by breath. The goal is to reach this source and to bring back life. This is the story of singing and has been central to human existence from earliest times. It reaches into the most hidden and difficult parts of ourselves and gives them safe passage into the light of day. It is collectively and personally cathartic, a social expression that brings a sense of belonging and rescues the individual from their isolation. It uses autonomic systems in the physical body which can only function properly if let go of. It therefore tells an unmediated truth that comes from somewhere beyond opinion and whose language is feeling.
Singing can never be 'known' in a conventional sense and this is its strength. It tells an unfiltered story. It is 'free', honest, authentic. It not only sounds free but is actually operating independently of the conscious knowledge of the singer themselves. This is why many singers talk of 'being sung', as if they are possessed by something else. They are right. The secret lies in the breath. No one owns breath. It does the work, carrying feelings, narrative, sound among the audience and binding them together. If it is not given freely, the message is inhibited. The skill of singing is to feel comfortable with what is going on without interfering inappropriately, to be happy about relinquishing control of the process and accepting whatever feelings and sounds come along. Breath is like a wave and the good singer surfs it rather
than controls. It must be free. It is given to very few to be able to accomplish this at the highest levels. Happily there is a level for everyone.
Furthermore, the sound itself is no guide, as soft tissue conductivity inside the head means the singer never hears themselves the way the audience does. Nothing is quite what it seems, and this is the point. It is as if Mother Nature has chosen to keep the sources of song out of reach of human control and in so doing created the tools through which to tell a story greater than the individual teller. The singer takes the audience on a journey into a world apart, acting as a bridge over which they can cross to a place where we all join together. Just as breath is shared, so the autonomic systems talk to each other without our conscious knowledge. When the singer holds their breath so does the audience, and when that breath goes free the audience is released. By connecting into the autonomic systems within our body we can reach this place where we all share. Singing is one of the main crossing points.