Over the past week or so, I have been thinking a lot about my experiences at the song festival in Granada. In particular, I have been thinking about the last masterclass that we did.
It took me a while during that class to realize that, what the guest teacher was trying to get from me was, well, more feeling in my singing. He used a number of interesting techniques — walking me about the stage while I sang about “going to the fair” in Manuel Garcia’s song, “Floris”; having me close my eyes while I sang “Parad Avecillas” to imagine for myself the feeling of protecting a sleeping person I loved so that their sleep could remain peaceful and undisturbed.
I’m about to spend some time this afternoon listening to the recording from that class, but I already know from my fellow participants that, particularly when I closed my eyes, my singing changed dramatically. And as our guest walked away, he turned to me and grabbed my arm and siad, “You feel so deeply. Let them hear it.” And I walked away from that experience knowing that there was something truly profound in it for me to learn and to carry forward in my performing and in my life.
But I still don’t have a clue what that lesson is.
I think, that, somehow, over the years of technical work, language work, precision tuning, I have lost something. I think that, from time to time, I find it when I am singing a hymn or a spiritual or even a classical work of a spiritual nature — but in favor of accuracy and of being a “good” singer who “gets it right” and “doesn’t stick out” and “doesn’t disrupt the ensemble”, I have lost something, something that hampers my ability to communicate. And maybe it is time to find it and put it back.
To find it, all I had to do was close my eyes.