Friday, March 27, 2009

Lapsing into Character. And Cats.

After I post about my voice lesson, I always think of things about it that I forgot to write about.

One of the things we went over is where to breathe. Or is that when? I think it's where, because it's where in the song. I make little check marks over the music where I should take a breath. When I first started lessons I had a lot of check marks on my music. Now that I've learned proper breathing techniques I can control my breath a lot better. I still have lots, and I mean LOTS, of room for improvement. Like, I still struggle sometimes to control my breath with the higher notes. I need more energy to reach the notes and sometimes I use too much and the notes are stronger than they need to be. Or louder. Hard to express what I'm trying to convey here. Breath control is something that I really need to practice more than I do. I have to trust that I can let less out and still hit the higher notes, and that even if it sounds screechy to me, I have to believe my teacher when she says it doesn't.

With If Music Be the Food of Love, I have to really relax my lower jaw and make "tall" vowels. It's the only way for me to maintain the legato. And it's interesting - you know you read or hear interviews with singers and actors and they say that you really have to let yourself go and live the part in order for it to be good? You have to give a piece of yourself to it. It's really true. I find that if I pretend I'm singing the song to someone, it sounds ok, but if I lapse into it like it's real, like I'm really singing it and not just pretending, then it sounds so much better. I realize that what I just described sounds like pretending, but it's something different. It's losing myself and being the person who is singing the song. It's hard to describe... but it's like, I'm not just singing the words and being aware of their meaning. I'm singing them and believing them. Does that make sense? Surely there is a better way to describe what I'm talking about. It takes a certain level of relaxation and concentration, of focus, for me to lapse into that mode. But I think that if I practice I'll be able to get there more often and more quickly.

As I was leaving she said she'd like me to try some trouser roles. Cherubino, to be specific. Yes, I know, that's a mezzo part and I'm technically a soprano. But I am comfy down there too, just not as rich-sounding as I'd like. I already know the tune and most of the words to Voi Che Sapete. So will that be a problem or an advantage if we work on that one? Hmm... Maybe we'll do Non so piu cosa son, which I'd love love love to learn.

Ok, cat pic time.

Viola being cute:

I walk away from my beads for 1 minute and Diego moves in as if he's been there all along:

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