Friday, January 20, 2012

Gola Aperta: Good, good, good, good vibrations . . . and vocal resonance

 Don Jupedo in the character of Harlequin
 jumping down his own throat . . . 
My current project is to develop a new protocol to establish excellent vowel resonance. That is simply critical for effective anchoring. The linked piece by Tracy Watson, which I will quote here, does a very nice job of explaining what it is, the felt sense of it and how it is achieved:

"Gola Aperta [literally: open throat] reflects not only the need for comfort, meaning a healthy, positive amount of muscle antagonism and tension when singing, but also the optimal use of the throat as a resonating body . . . Correct sensation involves an awareness of positive vertical and open space in the throat (like the sensation of breathing in the scent of a flower), and a feeling as though the sound being produced is gently yet energetically filling all of the available space. Depending upon the pitch, one can also feel the intensity of the vibration in different parts of the face. For lower pitches, there is most often a sense of the vibration in the jaw, lips, bridge of the nose, and the lower cheek area. With chest voice present, one may also feel some subglottic and “chest” vibration. As the frequency increases (pitch ascends), there is a sense of awareness of the vibration rising to a higher part of the face, across the bridge of the nose, the cheek area, behind the eyes, between the eyebrows and sometimes in the forehead as well."

Clearly, being able to speak with great resonance impacts more than just pronunciation. For one, it sets up the idea of speaking in a "new voice or identity" one that can be accessed almost as a distinct character or role. For many that construct is extremely helpful in switching to new pronunciation and monitoring ongoing speech. (See several earlier posts on elements of that therapeutic and actor-training strategy.) Once the new protocol is ready I'll post a video so you can try it out with your students. In the meantime, in preparation, get a first rate head and neck massage and practise seeing how much lavender essential oil fragrance you can draw in in one breath . . . 

No comments:

Post a Comment