Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thoughts from Stockholm Nos. 106-120


Why is singing so terrifying for some people? Because they have not learned the principles, have not gone through the process of learning to sing so that the experience of singing becomes satisfying. Ultimately singing can become more than satisfying for the singer. It could even become ecstatic. And until the singer does enough justice to her voice that the experience of singing at least becomes satisfying, she will never be free from what other people think of her or her singing. Ecstasy will remain far from her reach. We would not want to sing if singing could not feel like heaven.


No. 107

When we use our head to find our way to our heart the mind eventually figures out that it's plotted and committed its own demise on many levels.


No. 108

Our bodies provide not just a road map with which to follow our emotions when it comes to our experience on Earth. They are instruments of the Heart, which, when free from past hurts and judgment, can be gently, and with all honor and respect, guided by the mind to produce magic of the greatest proportions.


No. 109

Why does the singer love her Master Teacher? Because, gradually, he has handed her soul Heaven where once there was only Hell, the brightest colors where once there was only darkness--jewels where there once was dire poverty--and her True Self which shines through all past confusion and fear.


No. 110

There is a place I am aware of which is more than a place inside me--it's an experience--how can a place exist in me, only in time? I think of my life now as pre-"It" and post-"It". Before I knew what I was dealing with I could only guess at the true beauty of this life. Now that, day after day, I experience more and more of the "It" that drives us, my heart wants to spread her wings and join It and my mind wants to be blown to bits in its ecstasy. How completely irresponsible of me.


No. 111

Sometimes what's cooking beneath the surface of life is the most fascinating. We must never forget that, no matter how lack-luster or frustrating life may seem, the "It" is working in our hearts, minds, and bodies in ways we cannot quite grasp fully and which we may only answer with a silent prayer of the deepest thanks.


No. 112

Love is still love no matter how dysfunctional it is, just as singing is still singing no matter how incorrect the technique. In both singing and in loving, purity is our guide to longevity, health, and functionality.


No. 113

The False Voice has as many faces as the Ego can imagine. The True Voice is God's original intention. Its one face is unmistakable.


No. 114

Singing has to do with the deepest levels of human life: gut emotions, instincts, and desires. A Master of the Classical School of singing, when armed with a technique which is pure enough, has the tools to open the treasure trove of a human heart. Only the student has the key to that treasure trove. No one else can open it, especially not the Master Teacher. When the student does open it, finally, she discovers her Master, and her love, already there.


No. 115

The mistake we can make is in taking something like opera and classical singing too lightly. We so easily describe it as "elitist" and "pretentious", perhaps even "obnoxious". And when we have the courage to see why this happens, we understand why the most powerful forces of Love have been similarly ridiculed throughout the history of humanity: a mirror to the soul, a pathway to the heart often uncovers that which we do not want to see. When it It takes over, when the Voice demands total organic presence in the singer's life, it must own every part of her. This means it must own all of her humanity, light and dark: chiaro and oscuro. We take the technique of singing so lightly because we are not courageous enough to consider that what we hear on the outside of a singer as she sings could be the very internal picture of who she is as a person, who we are as people. An art form with such a power for revealing truth will naturally come under attack and be subject to all of our very human attempts to "clean up" our acts. Classical singing is as "dirty" as it gets. A key to its survival is our open acknowledgment of this fact. It is the opposite of putting opera on a pedestal.


No. 116

A Master Teacher does not assign labels. Rather he waits patiently for them to arrive from the Essence of who we are, like the colors in a mosaic made of jewels: a mosaic which both teacher and student know intimately already, even as it shows itself, like a dream never before remembered in lucidity.


No. 117

If we created an environment where love was paramount and where it was the student's responsibility to make herself available to a vocal technique that is as pure as it could be, the there would be no unheard voices ever again. Of course, the most important requirement would be that the student must be as dedicated to the "It" as humanly possible, which means s/he must give her all to It.


No. 118

What if we combined our knowledge of human consciousness and depelopment with what we know about vocal technique? If we did, then we singers would not only be aware that we are an integral part in the rEvolution of our species, but that our art form has been enlightening singers and audiences for centuries already.


No. 119

"There could only be one truth, and each vague answer or uncertainty led to more intense interrogation."~Stieg Larsson. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, p. 391


No. 120

Humanity's most fascinating capability is our ability to own our darkness. The freedom that comes from this ownership releases our ability to choose between True Self or Its negative, Its ghost--Its opposite, Its parody. Where we run in to trouble is in thinking that the It does not exist in our darkness. In our misunderstanding of true purity we mistakingly strangle the full existence of the It in our lives. In our search for the purest light we demonize the darkness. In truth the light makes love to darkness, every moment of every day of our lives. Paradoxically it is not the acceptance of darkness that creates pathology in our experience. It is our attempt to ignore darkness, or to do away with it which causes true perversion and confusion. This is why every artist must embrace the light and dark, the chiaroscuro, the Sturm und Drang of her existence to be absolutely sure that her art is pure. This is the student's vocation. It is the Master Teacher's job to provide an unquestionably accurate road map which can serve as a prayer labyrinth in and out of both darkness and light, until the student emerges certain that there is nothing to fear within her or without. Then true art, and true life, can begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment