Published on mars 26, 2010

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Making a recording is always interesting. In fact, I believe I began a blog post with that exact sentence about a year and a half ago when I did my last recording. There are good and bad things about recording – but most of all, it proves to you that what you think about your voice is not what it actually is.

This time around, I entered the recording process tired and a little bit apprehensive about how my voice sounded. I am going through a time of learning right now, which means that the way I sing is being taken apart and will be reconstructed into a better technique. Not necessarily the best time to make a recording, but sometimes you can’t predict a month in advance if your recording day will be a good day or not.

Going into the process, I was expecting to hear the recording and hear a completely different voice from my last recording. After all, I have changed voice teachers, coaches, schools, cities… What a silly expectation. The voice I heard is still MY voice. And I think the voice I hear on recordings of myself in 2030 will still be my voice.

Accepting my voice as it is is very hard for me. It may be simply that I listen to too much Kathleen Battle, but I never feel like my voice is quite beautiful enough to do justice to the repertoire I have chosen. This insecurity translates into a fixation on how my voice sounds, and a failure to focus on action, or what I can actually change about the way that I am singing. After all, I can’t change the sound of my voice, but I can broaden the resources I draw on to interpret a piece, I can make sure I know the translation and implications of the poetry or libretto, and I can let go of my insecurities in order to free up my fast passages, my high notes, and my facial expression. In fact, there are so many things I can change, it seems silly to fixate on the only thing I can’t change – my instrument. Technique is not about learning tricks to cover up how your voice actually sounds – it is about learning how to strip away all the tension and affectation in order to reveal your whole voice, just as it is.

Thank-you for reading!

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Pour répondre à la question : "Est-ce que vous chantez toujours ?"

I have learned that there is a difference between my physical voice, and my voice in the broader sense. I have mastered my physical voice – all the nuances, the breaking points; learned the ways my voice likes to move and blossom. There is freedom and joy in the practise of using my voice in that way on stage. But I needed something more.

La magie de la vulnérabilité : Un an de sobriété

Inspirée par une petite puce en plastique argentée qui se trouvait dans ma poche et qui portait l'inscription "Women in Recovery" d'un côté et la prière de la sérénité de l'autre (et par mon téléphone rempli de nouveaux numéros), j'ai découvert un désir en moi que je ne savais même pas que je voulais avant d'entrer dans cette réunion. Je voulais me retrouver.