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the singing garden

The choir is just like a garden. When the visitor enters the garden, if everything has been nurtured and watered, he will have a nice first impression, and he will look around searching for some more.

But if the gardener forgots to water the little plants in the corners, and if he only gives attention to his most beautiful trees, the whole garden will become a mess… his plants will grow in a mess, and the visitor will notice just a bunch of crap. Noone will ever notice if there is a lonely giant healty oak in the middle of the mess.

The new, untrained voices are the most important part of the choir to take care of. They have no defense against the teacher’s anger, they have no ears to understand what the current lesson is for… and they have the true beautyness of the wild rough emotion. These new voices will drop as soon as they will hear bad words about their behavior, they will drop when they will feel a single bad vibration in the choir’s life, they will drop if another stronger interest will rise up in their life, despite to the choir.

The teacher/gardener must give daily water to the plants with short roots. He cannot water or nurture the old trees… they just need some space and the right season (and sporadic prunings) to give fruits .

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When learning a pattern you try and repeat it many times. When you get it right, that is the most dangerous moment, because when our mind hears that the voice just did something armonically correct, it suddenly relaxes. And the next time, the one after the correct one, you will experience the real challenge: did it again in the correct form while the rest of the body thinks that you will do it without any effort.

The body thinks that since it already did the pattern one time, the next will be easier: FALSE! The attempts afert a correct pattern are harder… and harder.

That’s why if we imagine the curve of our attention, during a lesson it must constantly increase to let us learn something new. It is something quite innatural: try to imagine a runner that constantly increases his speed, it’s not normal… but is what we must do to while we sing.

has been a month full of thoughts and today we spoke about that thoughts. unfortunately we are not yet at the level whom the thoughts can fix into melody. So, the daily lesson has been a common meeting about organization (we need more organization…blabla) about new people (we need new people…blabla) about people with slow progress (we need to split the class…blabla) about concerts (we need a concert…blabla).

The words always try to concentrate the needs. The one with the strongest needs wins the conversation… but you cannot organize a group of people just singing. The spoken word is still the base for social needs.

maybe when people is relaxed can sing better. That’s not the point. If being relaxed costs to the chours its trueness, then i would not pay to be in that chorus. People says that chorus it’s a serious thing, but when the teacher is rude, or uses strong provocations, they leave. I must think that seriousness is different from having a internal enzime that enables to eat the bad words and to take something good out of them.

Today I broke my rule, and I spoke in the meeting. Today has been an organization meeting.

Imagination has a big part in singing. When someone cannot take the correct pitch, maybe his mind is not figuring correctly the spectrum that should come out from the sound. The job of the teacher is to draw with his words that spectrum, to make it visible to the singers… but everytime that a teacher does the job of the singer and draws that spectrum, the singer can loose something. The singer becomes a trainee, and he loses spontaneousness.

we know that everything we learn has a price. What’s the price for spontaneousness?

that’s why i stay silent, or i speak only superficial words: because each time that i say something true, who is listening starts to change, and if he doesn’t want to change, he leaves the chorus. The chorus needs people. People is more important than air. And people comes out of the silence, we must build a strong, self learning and respectful silence.

Singing comes in a big part from thoughts. But singing involves the entire body. Since singing comes from the breathing, and breathing means musclar action plus blood circulation plus a million other things happening simultaneously in our body. So no wonder if when you sing your body shackes, it’s normal.

Learning means taking out a part from ourself.  When we share something we can learn. So when asked, let’s try to take this thing outside, and let’s give it as a present to our fellows. This means that we can learn something, because we are starting to open to the others.

The rules of the teacher should be the only law. But everyone is always speaking of the daily football match while separated parts of the chorus are training alone. So I developed my own, silent set of rules to survive to general bad behaviors. I dig myself into a deep never responding silence, I open my mouth only when asked by the teacher, I try to listen always to whom is singing or training with the teacher, I adopt the absolute silence even if someone says directly to me something when we are still in lesson. The only rule is: no communication. Communication means not only the voice, communication means also every facial expression, eye gaze, nerv tension. I try to be so void that noone would ever speak to me again.

Last year I broke my rule 2 times, and 2 people left the chorus. These losses taught me never to broke again the rule, and today I was so depressed about general bad behaviors even during a new song briefing that I thought I would have left the chorus by the end of the lesson. Then I thought I could menace to leave if the people didn’t pay attention to the teacher. Then I thought I could ask the people to pay attention with gentle manners.

Then it was my turn to lead sing, so I tried to put all my thoughts inside my song words. I think I missed the song meaning, the words sounded different to everyone and I noticed baffled people. I could only hear my voice stronger than every other time as soloist, and I had to close my ears to avoid over exposure to high volume. I know this sounds funny. I know people are often laughing at me. This only makes me feel lonelier, and this only makes me hope in achieving enough skill to let the people understand all my unspoken words.

I think that each pitch has its own presence: every note has a particular intensity that can be thrown out from our throats.

But we are not just throats… we are people from a community, and the voice is the invisible representation of our beings, and voice can be influenced by our status into the community. Our internal training is a preparation for our throats, as well as public training is a preparation for the ears of other singers near us.

Our voice gets its power from the people that are listening, not from our inner inside. Big singers can sing alone, and they feel satisfied with no other needs. They could live alone in the middle of the country… or in the middle of a big city full of people, whistling and humming little tunes while doing something practical.

We are losing our spontaneousness. The normality of mistaken notes is getting less and less. As the mistakes are becoming rare, our will become stronger and our fear is forgotten. This is bad. We must always keep in contact with fears. We must always respect each other’s fears of letting out their deep parts.

We also get used to sit in a place and don’t move. Singing means a never happening satisfaction, a continuous improvement and development of strange and new things. This is why from the middle of the country we go to the cities in search for foreign ears, that don’t know our part in our community, and that can help us releasing our deepest fears.

Sometimes we can choose between the right note with a standard-trained tone and a new interpretation with a new throat and emotional position. I think that when in concert we should risk, and experiment new interpretations while in front of others. This gives to the listeners our same, true emotion. This is very dangerous, because even if you take the right note, the listeners could not like what they are feeling.

The singing moves listeners’ feelings, and if these feelings go through suffering, or if they go through new and strange complex emotions, the listeners could reject their emotions, without even knowing what they are doing. The public says that singers are bad. They throw outside the problem, they point their finger, and they procrastinate their emotional melting. … but… if you can get that key to their needs, you can sing for these needs, and the emotional obstacles will melt. As usual they will never know anything, they will just say that you are a good singer.

They could say also that you are a good singer without thinking it. But you will know if this is true, or if they just want to keep frozen their emotion.

yesterday i noticed a decreasing brightness into my tones. I thought this is because I tend to become darker as the training goes on. When we did a new song, the bright tone came up, with the will and the joy of making mistakes. When I fix on rocky learnings… the fear of mistaking becomes bigger than the voice. The voice became lazy. We must have always the possibility to fail and make mistakes. The mistakes can be the joy of singing.

Reading this small issue it seems that mistakes are always a good thing. It’s true.