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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Meredith Monk - human voice or a love for life



I guess, almost sure, the first sound when a baby was my mom or grandma singin'...

Old songs hummed as lullabies during my first life moments... I singed at primary school and with friends, growing up... guitar and singing; Cat Steven, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and Claudio Rocchi, Joan Baez, Francesco de Gregori, Neil Young, Francesco Guccini and Alan Sorrenti...

A nice method for being cool and having girlfriends... now, much more proficient in guitar playing than during those clicky-clackety first chords at high-school... I get dumb!

Words aren't and never were a problem, but those seldom times I now play for an audience, I always have to fight with my stagefright just to introduce a tune...

So, I'm actually a dumb guitar and oud player, period;-)

... but I don't want to write about myself...

My father has been an operatic and popular choir singer, a bass singer, actually, for most of his life... I feel it's not by chance I'm sooo attracted by bass and baritone singing and I'm also baritone-pitched.

I also always loved double-bass, first in the orchestral, rare parts, then searched as a soloist instrument...

I only recently realized I'm REALLY, sincerely and deeply into voice, human voice, its immense possibilities and nuances: from Meredith Monk to LaMonte Young, Pandit Pran Nath, Demetrio Stratos, David Hykes and his Harmonic Choir, and Guyto monks from Tibet, I'm much more into those artists and/or ancient vocal techniques who are exploring in rarefied fields, obtaining moog-like sound from their chests and throats, than attracted by Beatles' or Beach Boys' vocal harmonies... a possible "project failure" for yours truly;-), as the above simply leave me mild as smoking a Dominican cigar.

I (badly) DIY-learned ghost, double octave singing - i.e. with the GREAT support and inspiration of an old tibetan singing-bowl, magically pitched to my own voice-pitch, choosen as a love-at-first-sight affaire, after having tasted several - I'm able to modulate on a (own generated) low-pitched drone, an higher tone, modulating emission with some tongue positioning in the mouth...

I still remember the deep, deep pleasure... - Bingo! - when I, out of the blue, heard coming from my mouth as it was someone else, this double sound.... oooohhhh...uihhhh... together, like two singers.

While I listen to Meredith Monk's "Book of Days", looking at those b/w superb pictures of her and the other singers, all - chance, again - bearing exotic, almost alien names: Robert Een, Ching Gonzales, Naaz Hosseini, Nicky Paraiso, Nurit Tilles - I feel the uniqueness of Man... the endless improvising skill, the never-ending creation of patterns, noises, trilli, tremoli, a plethora of different effects which only one of my most beloved artists, a blackbird which every evening reaches a TV antenna on a building, in front of my house windows and terrazza, is able to use.

Always various, never repeating itself, the blackbird, like Meredith Monk, apparently surprises itself while singing... like a never ending gift and music dedication and praise to the beauty of Creation.

... and, nope... I'm not aware of other "instruments" having this snappy, filterless, deep feature, but our very own, humble, yet unique voice.

Meredith Monks' DVD

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