February 14, 2012

Sex & Singing

Alex Grey 

The appoggio of the singer contains the grasping of the idea of being ready to sing, the need for action and the tension which triggers the vibration. Who has learned to master it, who possesses the complete expanse and calmness of instrument-tension on the absolutely elastic diaphragm, has secured the direct relationship between the experience of the inner world and the transmission to the "mortorium" in a high degree through the life force, which is transmitted from the physical to the spiritual.  
Most people have lost this direct relationship through impediments of life, most of the time they do not even miss it. Their professions are far from influencing their inner life in this sense. And when their bodies expose their inhibitions, in spite of cloths, they do not pay attention, they have forgotten to be serious about it. However, the singer is serious about it, and as much as he is complaining about dependency on his body, he does love it dearly for being the instrument of his spiritual vibrations, and for no worldly good would he exchange the moments of physical ecstasy and this genuine, expansive, physical and spiritual act, which accompanies his artistry.   
From Die Physiologischen Gesetze des Belcanto by Max Sauter-Falbriard, 1971.  
Note: Max Sauter-Falbriard was a student of Johannes Messchaert, himself a student of Julius Stockhausen, that latter studying with Manuel García.

I had the honor of judging a singing competition recently and came away with an observation, one that has been on my mind for quite some time. What was the observation? Singers who have the clearest vowels, greatest facility and beauty of expression have one thing in common: they all have very open faces, which—if we are to believe the observations of Alfred A. Tomatis—is an indication that the ear is open to the full range of frequencies. This doesn't mean that the students I heard grinned like madmen. On the contrary, their emotion—in some cases—was far from joyful. The face, however, was still very much open. They sang with joy.

Let me get to the matter another way.

Have you ever noticed that laughing and crying look remarkably similar?

Have you ever noticed the expression of the face during intense sexual pleasure?

Have you noticed what the breath feels like when you are Riding the Tiger, that is, experiencing the intense sexual pleasure before orgasm?

This is the "motorium" that Sauter-Falbriard writes about.

The body sings during intense sexual pleasure. How can it not? It is open to the heavens and rooted in the here/hear and now. And while singing is not a sexual act, it relies on the ear being in a similarly heightened neurological state, one that is revealed in the face, the facial nerve having an intimate relationship with the inner ear. That's it in a nutshell.

A true understanding of this means that you will have found your voice.

I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman

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