Premise: everything I write is the result of my vocal experience in which someone will be able to recognize themselves and therefore this does not want to be a handbook of singing. In this story there are the experiences, the nature and the thoughts of the writer of this reflection as well as the encounters and musical experiences matured.
Losing the voice and the ability to sing, in the sense of moving away from the natural voice and the free voice in favor of a mechanistic approach, has produced in me a series of deconstructive effects. Of these effects I will illustrate two, where one is the consequence of the other.
LOSING OUR CHANT….the loss of the sung voice.
First of all, if we follow a mechanical approach we risk to carry out a series of preliminary and controlled operations that distance the voice from the principle of flow, of the air-flow, of letting it happen and of the observation capacity.
As can be guessed, with this attitude, is difficult to manage the legato, the energy in singing and the natural vibrato are irretrievably lost and so trying to reach these instruments which are consequences of free singing through mechanistic attitudes, in my case , has done nothing else that adding further mental and physical complications (in the sense of tension) to an already overloaded structure.
All this led me to lose the sense of singing.
In these conditions I spent hours of study without achieving any results and what I achieved was however artificial and little assimilated as I had to reconstruct it at each singing study session. In this condition I moved away from singing and what I was trying to live and define as singing was actually a substitute.
Thus the session turned into a moment of great mental and physical fatigue without any return of well-being and energy and at the end of the study session there was only a great tiredness and many questions. Singing was no longer a pleasure.
Losing singing…the loss of vocal and artistic identity
In losing the natural voice (a term that must be explored elsewhere but here intended as something opposed to an artificial and constructed voice) there is an even more serious loss. Our voice is the image of ourselves and in my case, moving away from what belonged to me, my voice had become a kind of monolith that gave me an untrue vocal identity.
The sensation was similar to that of when you look in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself. In the case of the voice, it is not sighted that determines what the mirror gives us back but hearing and, above all, the body that hears its voice as something foreign and reacts accordingly by putting in place a whole series of tensions and constraints that are localized in various points of the body (solar plexus, lower limbs etc … therefore not necessarily in the area next to the larynx).
Consequently, we can find the loss of pleasure in singing, the loss of expressive capacity and musicality in singing, the loss of artistic identity and, more generally, of human identity.
Losing your singing and losing your voice means not being able to find vitality and joy in your voice. On the contrary, returns strong elements of tension, affecting not only the professional side but everyday life. The voice does not live only in study or performance sessions but is always present (even in silence)! This can lead to a sense of insecurity that can undermine the basis of self-determination of the individual (in the mind of a person expressing himself and his individuality).
THE RECOVERY OF SINGING
In this path of (unwanted) deconstruction of my vocality and the (fortunately) subsequent recovery path, I have lost several years of artistic life. Why losing your voice and singing means losing all your musicality!
It is like trying to throw the water out of a boat that continues to take on water … in short, until you close the hole, you will do nothing but try to stay afloat, and maybe you will succeed, but you will never be able to catch offshore and enjoy the journey.
But not everything comes to harm. Going through paths full of errors makes them understand better.
Also, understanding that you can get out of this situation is a message of comfort for those who find themselves in this impasse, for those who have heard (or for teachers who have said) “let it be” through words, looks and gestures of distrust.
What changed my direction? First of all, personal motivation.
Secondly, it was essential to discover artistic and didactic figures who moved on other shores than those who travelled up to that moment. For example, the texts of Antonio Juvarra and the didactics of Albert Hera that I was lucky enough to come across in my vocal research path. Through these meetings, I understood that there was another way of making singing live.
I realized that singing did not exist only in the arytenoid muscle.,in the cricoid, in the tilting, in pushing the abdominals, in the mask, the head voice, the cry, the yawn … (all concepts that, in my case, forced and harnessed the voice) … but there was also the breath, the flow and the column of air, the space, the attack of the sound … concepts and sensations that may seem obvious for some but not for a student who blindly entrusts her voice to others and then does not to find himself more in the place where he had lived until then (by saying this we do not want to discharge the sense of responsibility which, as far as I am concerned, in learning is twofold and involves all the actors involved: teacher as a student).
The vocal recovery path, finding the song again, led me to be able to make my first album.
Recovering the singing has led me to feel that I can express my musicality, which I can carry on day by day, knowing that the path is made up of small steps, without that feeling of going around the same point without any solutions whatsoever and to return to our boat, to keep trying to stay afloat so as not to sink.
But above all, recovering my voice led me to take pleasure in singing and to rediscover my identity. Because the voice is our identity, it is what we present ourselves with to others; it is what puts us to what is outside. I would say that it is not a trivial matter.
Read also the article: Edward Tylor: culture and singing inseparable elements