Truth is Always Expressed as a Paradox

Two opposing things are always true when things are in balance.

You need flexibility in order to sing well but you need strength and stability, too.

You need to be able to have firm control over your vocal technique in order to let it go and sing freely.

When you can take a deep breath easily, it will look like you are hardly breathing.

You need to be able to concentrate on the singing for its own sake until you can forget about it and concentrate on the communication.

I could go on and on. Most things in life that are “true” (little “t”) can be found to be oppositional. If you do not investigate something thoroughly, you may not know the edges and be unable to establish an appropriate boundary. I can’t say how many times I got hoarse while trying to explore the boundaries of belting, or the times I caused myself some kind of (temporary) technical issue, but this is the reason I know how far to go not only with myself but with my students. It gives me great courage, because I understand why singers are afraid. People who have never experienced fear do not know what it is to go through the fear. They do not develop courage, because they never take up the gauntlet of challenging that which frightens them.

You need “evil” to understand “good”. You need up to understand down, and out to understand in. This is a world built on duality. If you cannot label something, you do not know that it exists, and yet to label it is not to actually capture the thing being labeled. We are always in the present moment, but we would only be able to be there if our perception of time didn’t also include a past and a future.

Voice, vocal expression, sound and singing are all concrete and ephemeral. Making sound is something we do and something that “just happens” as we live. Nailing any aspect of it down is very difficult but not nailing it down is also.

Do not let your mind trap you into having “the answer”. Be open. See what you can discover. Listen to your body and your heart. Sometimes the thing you most seek, that which most eludes you, is very quietly under your nose, hiding in the silence out of which sound is born. If you encounter something that seems both real and miraculous, you will know what the title of this entry means.

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