In the Summer of 2006, I found my voice. I started to speak my opinions, I found my feet; though shakily and I began to sing. My friend and I would sit at the pond by the community centre and sing duets. We got reasonable praise, and thus started my career in song. Aged 9-10 I’d sung in the school play. I sang a whole solo of Patsy Cline, and duets of Abba and that song by Annie Oakley (wow, having never seen the original before tonight, I can now say we didn’t sing it like that! =P).
I’m still intrigued that I sang such low parts. When I started doing duets with my friend, I used a second soprano or mezzo-soprano vocal range. I sang as I walked to and from College; came to University and got mixed results and as time went on, I lost my faith and then re-established it many times more.
From November 2006-July 2007 I had reoccurring bouts of tonsillitis/glandular fever and my vocal range shifted. I lost my power and confidence in many aspects during winter of 2006 and when I dip back into that hole, my voice is one of the last things to go. You know I’ve hit bottom if I stop voicing my opinion and you spend 2 hours in my company without hearing me at least hum.
Tonight, a couple of us from the Sussex Spiritual Society (which I co-run) attended a singing workshop. The workshop included some really good warm ups, two African apartheid songs (freedom is coming/ Bambelela (Never Give Up)), “We are walking on sacred ground” and a song dedicated to Peace; all with some dance and clapping/marching/ foot tapping moments.
I got to use my voice in all the ranges as we all learnt each part (Tenor, Bass, Alto & Soprano) and I got to try out a couple of differing methods of voice projection.. and lost my confidence. All these wonderful voices and then hearing my own voice miss the timing at odd moments, lose it’s power (need to breathe) or be totally out of tune. I even managed to earn/endure a smile/look from another soprano which said to me “let’s indulge her; she’s trying”.
And I felt like that 11-year-old who’d proudly put her hand up, enthusiastic about learning French and come out with the totally wrong answer. (To be honest, my French teacher loved that I wasn’t afraid to be wrong (and I often was wrong) and it was great to “see such enthusiasm”…)
It’s been a tidal week. That’s likely the best term for it. I fell apart of Monday night and I’m still kind of in pieces over the causes of that. I’ve had amazingly uplifting moments, such as chatting to my best friend online, sending a hand-written letter to my oldest friend and feeling at home at the Pagan Pub Moot on Wednesday night.
And even tonight, I found a glimpse of some amazing feelings; of the freedom and for a bit I even let my hair down. I actually relaxed to the point where I panicked. “Woah.. This has NEVER happened before.. I’m not consistently going ‘what does that person think, mine’s not like theirs, I should have worn a skirt’, I’m hungry”. And then I lost it. But for possibly thirty whole seconds, I was free.
This week I’m still focusing on Choosing Kindness and I guess I need to be kind to myself in this particular area. Anyone know of any useful vocal exercises for strengthening the voice/projecting/how to learn to be in tune etc?
Currently Listening: Evanescence – Whisper (live) [love the starting scale bits]
P.S. Thank you Yana for letting me know that I was out of time. I wasn’t strong enough to thank you in person, as I took it personally and got all offended for a bit. But you were right and I’m glad you told me.