Academic journal article Mosaic (Winnipeg)

Reflection on the Santorini Voice Symposium: Aurora Manuel

Academic journal article Mosaic (Winnipeg)

Reflection on the Santorini Voice Symposium: Aurora Manuel

Article excerpt

One day, while we were rehearsing a work for tenor and orchestra (I am in the orchestra), I not only took notice of the tenor's voice but also was moved by how he used his whole body as he sang. As he took a breath for his next phrase, his whole back, buttocks, legs, shoulders (and probably his feet too) were involved and alive. He also sang without any extraneous movements; everything was essentially given to his voice production. So I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could do this same thing on the violin? For, we are not usually trained to free up our bodies and play music. Instead, I have given years trying to perfect my martele, play in tune, learn my concertos, etc., thinking, overall, about how I'm using my fingers, wrists, elbows, neck and shoulders; locking my knees, my lower back pain, and holding my breath were never considered.

How does Kristin Linklater's work speak to the musician? Do our voices, our notes and words, coincide as performers? How can we as instrumentalists connect with our voice; how can we (re-) gain an unhindered, free voice? The work gets deeper as I wonder if I'm finding my voice. Or did I forget my voice? Where and when did I leave my voice?

If I perform a work, my playing must say something, have sense and meaning as an interpretation. I think that being free in our bodies and allowing ourselves to play unfettered by our hyper-critical and judgmental mind can greatly help us with musical performance. …

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