The primary and most significant instrument is the human voice. It costs nothing. It is always available. It is capable of making a very wide range of pitches, vowels and sound qualities and volumes and carries within it all the emotions that human beings experience.
A person is known by her character. This is the sum of her actions, her words and her expressions and the day to day events of how her life is lived. When we speak of someone with a “strong character” we might mean someone who is influential through their personal integrity or through their example of overcoming adversity. We speak of someone who can be counted on when the going is rough, someone who is responsible even when that responsibility is difficult, someone who is able to think not just of herself but of others, sometimes more of others than of herself.
A person who tells the truth, even when doing so is hard; a person who stands up for what is fair and unbiased; a person who understands what it is to suffer and experience pain, a person who knows great joy just from seeing the sunset or hearing a child laugh; such a person is a treasure to others — a person like this leaves the world a better place just by being alive.
There is much now in the world that is not good. Lying, cheating, stealing, hatred, anger, great amounts of fear, all manner of suffering, illness, pain and struggle. There are those who feed on these dark emotions, making other’s lives more unsteady, all the while claiming to be the people with “the truth”. Arrogance, ignorance, hubris, self-aggrandizement, self-centeredness, greed, betrayal — the list is long. Sometimes people get so confused they can no longer tell true from false. That is a dire situation indeed.
What has this to do with a fully connected voice you may ask? Everything. Someone who has developed the human voice to its fullest, which takes years of diligent work and practice, brings forth in it every aspect of sound. It is then and only then when it can reflect fully the wide scope of human experience. It is then that it is strong, powerful, clear and moving.
When words are spoken by such a person, while that person feels deeply what it being said, the effect is always commanding. The words ring out with a special kind of energy, one that is hard to describe in words. When the sounds are sung, this effect is magnified many times over. The sound of an open, alive, vibrant voice singing words that are connected to deeply felt emotion and communication leave an impression like none other on earth. It is not for nothing that many really famous singers have been able to transcend nations, languages, politics, ages, and styles. When Luciano sang in NYC’s Central Park, half a million people would come, and for Streisand as well. Pavarotti mostly did not sing in English. People didn’t care. He mostly sang opera. Also, people didn’t care. They came for that SOUND and the emotion it always carried in it.
If you work on your voice, you must also always work on your body, and if you work on both, you must also work on who you are. It’s a package. The vocal development becomes a spiritual path. And, eventually, you discover your voice. You discover what it is you want to say, what you HAVE to say, in this life that is your message and yours alone. You uncover the vibration not just of your voice, but of your deepest soul desires.
And if you succeed in this, you find a place that cannot be any of the small, closed things I wrote about above. It becomes nearly impossible to be greedy, mean, narcissistic, arrogant, or anything else dark and horrible. You find that you fall in love with the human race and the planet on which we dwell and that your voice blends with the sound of the wind, the ocean, the birds and the laughter of children just as surely as it sends out messages of music and mind.
The power of a fully connected voice is the same power as that which called life into existence. It is that nameless something that is in everything and of everything which we know as life. It is one of the most powerful forces in the world.