The Skylight Centre
Highbury & Islington, N5
HumanSong–Vocal Performance & Self-Expression From The Heart
A Feldenkrais Embodied Voice Workshop
August 28th – 31st (Tuesday – Friday)
11.30 am – 5.30 pm each day
An Overview of HumanSong:
Birdsong is a constant and enduring source of joy for the human heart – the natural exuberance of these many and varied voices, going about their business in our midst, are as reliable a source of pleasure in the town as in the country – an ever-present musical backdrop in all our lives.
As a city dweller I enjoy a great deal of the humansong around me too – the young boys shrieking in their bedroom next door, wordless communications blasting through the walls from all the other homes surrounding my ground floor flat; flocks of teenage girls and boys passing my window all through term time, singing, shouting, teasing and showing off as they make their way to and from their playing fields.
Nevertheless, as we mature spontaneous outbursts begin to feel less and less appropriate, and from quite an early age we begin the process of inhibiting and containing ourselves. Most families, some more than others, impose often unacknowledged restraints on how much attention we draw to ourselves, how much noise we make, what we are free to say and how we are allowed to express ourselves. If I sneak a peak at the passing schoolchildren there are already some that are near silent – young people holding themselves apart from their more exuberant companions. How old were you when you began to feel self-conscious and in some way fundamentally inappropriate?
HumanSong is the term I am using to evoke the full range of spontaneous natural resonant frequencies and qualities that the human voice can produce. We come into the world squalling -communicating pure un-contained human emotion – loud, uninhibited, demanding, assertive and beyond reason. As we grow we discover more of the capabilities of our instrument, tuning into the human soundscape surrounding us, becoming better able to distinguish and convey meaning, developing our listening abilities in tandem with our range of expressive vocal noises, preparing our selves to inhabit and expand the human soundscape that surrounds us.
HumanSong is not singing, but it is the core of our ability to sing with our whole heart.
It is not speaking, but it is the foundation of our extraordinary communication capabilities.
It is not performance, but it enhances every aspect of performance.
It is the essence of our enormous range of communicating behaviours – speaking, singing, and mimicking all the other sounds around us – animal, musical, mechanical, digital, and those of the natural world.
In this workshop we will be expanding our sensory-motor awareness, and diminishing unnecessary and habitual constrictions in every part of our sound-making selves – vocal structures, respiratory structures, diaphragms and sphincters, and the fascial-musculo-skeletal system that forms the physical foundations of our vocal ease and power.
The Feldenkrais Approach to Well-Being
Many of us are so used to living in a state of compulsive muscular resistance that we cannot remember what moving with ease feels like. Awareness Through Movement teaches you to let go, to sense with full clarity the unconscious constraints that maintain the invisible corsets we live and move and speak and sing from within – and to .
Feldenkrais teaches us how to unravel these persistent muscular tensions, using carefully designed movement sequences as a very effective way to lower muscular effort throughout the whole self, and the long-term aim is greater ease in every aspect of life. Every time you can catch yourself in the act of tensing back up again, you learn a little more about yourself, your limiting beliefs, your true feelings, and your suppressed desires. Once you start to get a handle on what is making you so resistant and wary and armoured against those around you, then it becomes possible to begin to truly renew yourself.
I aim to have a recorded version of this course available at a discount rate for attendees, hopefully by Christmas!