Eleven days at a voice intensive. Eleven days of process. Eleven days of digging deep and breathing down there. Eleven days of song and movement. Eleven days of sound.
I’m in Calgary giving myself a couple days to transition back into reality from working with my voice teacher, Richard Armstrong. I need the transition. I need the time to write and wander streets and see a few friends.
Every morning my alarm would wake me at 7:30. I was at breakfast by 8:30, sitting with the fourteen other participants/friends where we would talk about our dreams and our repertoire. By 9:15 we were all in the studio rolling around on the floor, breathing, stretching, and moving into sound. Richard would arrive at 9:30 and the documentary film makers would arrive soon after and we would begin the work.
skin . liquidity . gravity . pleasure . our place in the world
We would spend the morning in process. Voice and movement games. Solo vocal exploration with the group supporting the person working. Richard gently tugging at our vocal heartstrings and pulling sounds out of us that we didn’t realize were there.
Suddenly it would be lunch time. We would rush off to eat or to the private studios to practice or to the library to look at scores.
We would arrive at the studio at 1:45 and roll on the floor again. Richard and the film crew would arrive at 2:00 and we would begin the work. We presented our repertoire. Richard would lead us deep. Some of us were brought forth to help to expand the soloist’s presence. The piece would grow. The piece would become both solid and liquid. The piece would become.
Hildegard Von Bingen . Georges Aperghis . my own piece ossa.ora .
At around 4pm we dispersed again. Our accompanist and coach, Margeurite, would meet with some people to work on repertoire. Craig would pull some of us aside to film interviews. Others would rush off to the studios or to the library again. Others would gather to work on ensemble pieces. Others would go for a hike up one of the mountains or down by the river. By 6pm we would gather and eat. We would talk about what happened in the day and how we were being changed, transformed, opened.
At 7pm we would continue our work. Sometimes sitting with Richard while he read us stories from his writings. Sometimes going to see performances by other artists. Sometimes going to the studio. Sometimes we would for for a drink or collapse in our rooms.
The next day it would start again. Each day deepened. Each day opened. Each day spiraled.
On our final day we ended our work by improvising a choral piece in a spiral staircase. Culminations. Clouds in the skylight. Voices meeting and dancing.
I need a couple days to transition back to reality.
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