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Speaking of singing


'There is a strange paradox on the journey toward revealing authenticity and that is - we want less of you to see more of you'.

A song presents initially, to an artistic interpreter, (yes a singer), as a series of black marks on paper; the hard labour of composer and lyricist. It once lived in their hearts and minds. It is now committed to a written form ready to be shared with others. This is a near daily occurrence for professional singers. The challenging responsibility for breathing life into these marks on the page is daunting.

The deconstruction from material form to organic noises is an art - a performing art. Sinews and muscles and imagination and technique, bring pressure to bear on the heart and mind to reveal something of oneself. The performer singer's unique personalised life giving revelation becomes a work of art in itself. The ownership and inspiration lives in the ether momentarily, for as long as it lasts and then some.

So the aim is to go beyond just interpreting the song. The aim is to be artist owner of the moment. This can really only happen through a series of processes and imaginings that are at once instinctive but inevitably require analysis and exploration.

What I am sharing with you are secrets to help you discover true success. Each secret requires visceral exploration. This is the hard bit. It is not an academic exercise. You can’t just read about it then do it. And this is exactly what you are doing now. Ah the irony of speaking of singing.

Singing is an athletic pursuit and involves a lot of muscles that need to be flexible and robust and continually responsive to any and all the emotional and technical whims that come about as a result of your artistic imagination. Singers apply their imaginations organically and this has to be practised in situe.

There is a need to ‘do’ and to ‘be’. And this visceral exploration should not happen in private. There is a vast difference between singing and performing in the privacy of your own room and what actually happens when you are with one other person (teacher, coach, accompanist), a group or in front of an audience.

The contexts have different truths. In fact there is little useable truth to be found in the act of performing alone (in front of a mirror!). The bell ringing in the desert anomaly! A performance doesn’t exist without an ‘audience’ The notion of ‘in public’ forces you to challenge the range of forces within that inhibit us and negate the release of authenticity and personality.

Authentic singing demands that the singer jump so inside the lyric and melody, that we lose sight of the singer and all their foibles, mannerisms and ego. They must become a medium for the composer and lyricist, not just an interpreter. The performer is that fulcrum between the heart and mind of the writer and that of the audience.

When you interpret you layer the song with your own prejudice sometimes exchanging the essence of the song’s meaning for what makes sense to you. The trick is for you to make sense of the song and not force the song to make sense of you. I don’t mean to be obtuse but there is a strange paradox on this journey toward revealing authenticity and that is - we want less of you to see more of you.



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