May 8, 2013

Lamperti's Method

Sometimes the simplest things are the most confounding. Consider Giulia Valda's words in the previous five posts concerning Lamperti's "breath." She tells the reader that it has less to do with the air in one's lungs and everything to do with poise. Valda doesn't include it for some reason, but there is a simple exercise, which, when executed, one can feel both, that is, poise and breath together. What is it? Panting. Not the panting you perform in the yoga studio when the emphasis is on the exhalation, but rather, the panting that is done when the emphasis is on the inhalation. This is what Lamperti taught his students to do. 

Inhalare la voce

When you can pant with ease, the emphasis on the inhalation, feeling the ear's connection to the body from head to pelvis (the vagus nerve runs from ear drum to urogenital diaphragm), and the subsequent extension of the muscles of the body that is engendered by the activity, you will have learned something of Lamperti's breath. The trick, of course, is to sing with this feeling. Another trick is maintaining this feeling throughout the phrase. Still another is increasing the feeling as the scale ascends.

The feeling of panting? This is what Valda means when she tells the reader that the breath is separate from tone, vowel and instrument. The essential feeling of extension of the muscles of the body is dissipated when the tone is breathy. Breath and breathy. Yes. These two words can confuse the reader. One inhales to feel the breath, but one does not sing in a breathy manner. One sings on the breath, but not with the breath. Such was the expression of the Lamperti School. One might as well say that one sings with the muscles of the body extended, but that would be even more confusing even though accurate. What is the full extension of the muscles of the body? The body's expression of an open ear.  If you've read my posts on the open ear and the work of Tomatis, you have some idea of what this entails. But this too can be confusing. So let's be simple. Instead of some hard to achieve academic who-ha, let the student of the Old Italian School pant with emphasis on the inhalation. This will teach the meaning of Lamperti's method. 

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