Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

No. 93

If Art could be seen universally not just as something that we do, but as something that we are, we would not be losing it from our education system. It would be seen as inherent as breath and life itself to our children, the very hope for our future as a country, and as a world.

No. 92

Call me onward
Envelope me
In silence
To where Who I Am
With acceptance
To where I have no doubt
I can open my mouth
And sing the Truth
Of Who We Are
In peace,
And in Light Eternal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No. 91

What if "incorrect" vocal technique is just us trying to be something we are not? Who are we? We are ecstasy in motion. Is it possible to sing, truly, as we are? I believe, yes. I believe that when we sing in a way that it brings us joy on every imaginable level, we are singing as we truly are.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No. 90

When we can be in a way that what we do does not change who we are, then we are seamless with Spirit. When what we do is the same as who we are, then we are living magic.

No. 89

How do I know when I'm singing well? The horses do not change at the sound of my voice. It is one with who they are, and I am in awe of what it means to be alive.

Monday, July 19, 2010

No. 88

May my mind to be blown to smithereens by Love, so that my heart can think for it. And may the thoughts of this blown-away mind be broad enough to embrace every feeling of which I am capable.

This post is dedicated to Kammersaengerin Hilde Zadek, who first told me that the key to singing is to think with my heart and feel with my head. Thank you for all you taught me, great Diva!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No. 87

Our True Self is reward, affirmation, blessing, safety and reason enough to continue on whatever path, wherever and whenever we find ourselves. Love swallows even the concept of "enough" until the true We is left standing in awe, arms outstretched in all our glory, aware that we live and have lived for Eternity, and nothing less.

No. 86

What do horses and opera have in common? They both require us to enter into the world of Spirit to experience the truth of what each of them is. It is a world which encompasses all that we are, picks us up on the wings of beauty, and demands all from us, always. In experiencing the truth of what a horse is, the truth of what opera is, we experience the truth of what and who we are.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No. 85

SHe laid claim to all that I am
welling up and unfurling
with the gentle, inevitable insistence
only Love can wield.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quote of the Day 3

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is call'd content;
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

From Henry VI Part III, William Shakespeare

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No. 84

We can only be as kind to another Being as we are to ourselves. In order for the voice to emerge from us as beautifully as it possibly can be, a part of us at least must know love, and act as if the voice is precious and invaluable, worthy of cherishing and celebrating, like a friend in our care. If Classical Singing could be viewed by the world as more than simply beautiful and masterful sound, but as a commitment to what most deeply defines the value of humanity, there would be no talk or worry of its extinction.

To the Editor

To the Editor,

I was not shocked to hear of the recent cutting of Music from the Dallas Elementary School curriculum. It is natural to want to save money in this time of economic change which is seen as uncertain by so many. However, I am certain that the Dallas School District is not aware of how grave the consequences are of their decision to cut Music Education in the crucial young years of our children’s development. Those who live and work outside the field of music performance are often not aware that music is a language. It is as crucial to some people as English or Spanish, or any mother tongue, for expressing the truth of who they are. By not allowing young children access to the vocabulary of music as a language, we are in effect muting that crucial avenue of expression in the age where our children are most thirsting for ways to express themselves. From my perspective, as a singer and artist, had I been deprived of music as a child, it would have been the same as depriving me of light, or food, or love itself. Anyone who has truly and deeply felt the power of great music knows that I do not exaggerate. Therefore, I ask the City of Dallas to reconsider. And if it’s too late to make budget changes for this year, let’s let music waft up from unexpected places for our children. Get them in church choirs, encourage them to sing with the radio, allow a little more ‘noise‘ around the house: that banging on the trash can lid is music! It may sound like desperation, but a soul without means to express itself is a desperate thing indeed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No. 83

What is authenticity? Authenticity is allowing all that is not us to fall away until what remains is the purest expression of who we truly are. Who are we truly? Trying to explain who we truly are is like trying to give emotion to a sparkling jewel. It's like trying to harness the wind. It's like trying to squelch life itself. How, then, do we honor who we truly are, if we cannot explain it? We be it. That is all.

Quote of the Day 1

"Follow your bliss." --Joseph Campbell

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beverly Hoch - Proch's Variations Aria

No. 82

What is "off the mark non-singing"? There really is no such thing! In fact, even someone who says they cannot sing and will not sing is "on the mark" when it comes to singing, because their Source is 100% capable of singing and therefore they are already singing, through their latent Source. This is why I always smile when someone tells me they can't sing. It's about pure potentiality. For whether we allow it fully or not, the Source of who we are is always singing. So, in a way, whenever we attempt to sing we ARE singing perfectly! The degree to which we allow ourselves to truly sing determines the percentage of authenticity in the sound. Even if someone sings with only .01% authenticity, that .01% makes the singing authentic! That's why we never have to worry if we're on the mark or not, because we ARE on the mark...all we have to do is become as much as possible one with the mark itself. Become the Source of music and you are always 100% "on".

This knowledge is incredibly empowering, because when we listen to a singer that seems to be impeded in some way on their path to true expression, we have a broader perspective that does not allow us to label anyone's singing "bad" or "off"...the singer's voice can only be somewhere along the path of its development toward freedom, and what could be "bad" or "off" about that?

But what about the person without vocal cords? Or the one who breathes or speaks with difficulty? Well, I say the presence of life is the presence of song, and every living thing, as long as there is life in it, is singing, just by being alive! What a fantabulous thing it is to be a singer, where our one and only job is to find out how to be more and more alive, until music flows through us in song like it was merely breath, the most basic thing of our human existence.

Lately I've been listening to Beverly Hoch, a coloratura that Jean-Ronald recommended I listen to. If I've ever seen and heard a singer who is at the 100% allowing-the-music place, it is her! In fact, I think she is teaching me a new scale of measuring greatness when it comes to listening to singers. She, in her simple joy and authenticity, inspired this post. Thank you Jean-Ronald for this awesome treasure!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

No. 81

It does not matter what you sing. It matters how you sing it. One could even go so far as to say that if you are attempting to sing in a way that misses the mark, you are not singing at all. Thus the most important thing for a student of singing to know above all else is why they sing. When they know why, they know how.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

No. 80

The Source, the impulse of great opera is omnipresent. This is why there is no danger that opera will ever go extinct. It's why there will always be great singers, because there will always be people who understand that great music is an expression of the deepest part of us, and that to sing that music we must access the part of us from where that music comes. Great opera, contrary to popular belief, is accessible to anyone who is willing to be open to it and to let it in.