If you ARE reading this you can see that I am mostly talking to myself.
But then I seem to suddenly switch to talking to an imaginary reader. Ah, well.
I believe what I write but it’s probably better if YOU believe what YOU write.
And I change my mind now and then. Probably.
If you want these ideas… take them, but if not… just KEEP AWAY.
SO: THIS IS MORE OF A NOTEBOOK THAN A BLOG.
ALSO: I hope my daughter reads it then makes her own notebooks (Hi there!).
ALSO: Try to make this more understandable.
I really don’t want the hassle of writing a blog, so here we go…
In singing, for each phrase you kind of need to slow down the breath going out.
Make it a gentle flow of air. Don’t push it out, instead resist it’s getting out.
Think about a weighted keyboard sort of approach. I mean the thing where the keyboard makes you play soft unless you really hit it.
This is different to volume. I haven’t understood that bit yet but I think you make the power with other muscles and not by blasting more air out.
At the choir, in warm-up, we do a putting-the-tongue-up-blocking thing which I believe is a way of experiencing the correct pushing. It’s when you sing “nnnnng” like a marauding mummy in a horror film.
It’s also a bit like the thing you do for that tibetan chanting (possibly).
I have seen this described as “drinking-in the sound”.
SO: YOU RESIST THE BREATH-OUT RATHER THAN BLASTING IT OUT.
ALSO: This may not apply to all types of singing.
ALSO: It will probably need to become auto because you will have other thoughts going on.
ALSO: It might help to think of this as saving the breath, making it last.
ALSO: Explain this a little more clearly next time.
I think I am getting it correct when I say we have a third tiny brain at the back.
This brain looks after automatic stuff. Science fact. AND you can program it.
If you learned to drive or swim then you already did some programming.
What you did was repeat certain movements lots of times until eventually you didn’t have to think about what you were doing. Your third brain now drives the car while you think about nothing.
The technique is repetition.
You can learn to dance or play volleyball etc. by repeating actions until you are sick to death of them.
This sick-to-death feeling is a good moment because it means your repetitions are now going in to Brain 3. And it will not be long before you take those actions for granted in the same way that you feel about breathing and walking.
SO: IF YOU REPEAT MOVEMENTS ENOUGH TIMES THEY BECOME AUTOMATIC.
ALSO: Maybe Brain 3 is not me. Like a passenger in your head who works for you.
ALSO: Brain 3 can look after poems and melodies.
ALSO: What if this is nonsense? Doesn’t matter. It is true in my house.
ALSO: Try to make your point clearly.
I really don’t want to write a blog, so here we go…
I am thinking about the projection thing for singing. That it is a letting go. That it is about communicating to a person in a real way.
i.e. it is not that you pretend to be singing to a person over there, it is more that you choose a person and you ‘be sending’ to her or him.
It is the open-voice of a rich MP declaiming to a group of naughty young rascals. Hear him: “You Boy! Get away from my sports car!”
He wants them to hear him. He is not letting his voice hold back his communication.
This is like being the person who is able and willing to be the one who will say something out loud on a crowded train when it needs to be said. Speaking up.
It means seriousness about that communication. Not ironic.
SO: YOU CHOOSE A REAL PERSON AND YOU ‘SPEAK UP’ TO THEM.
ALSO: This is a state-of-mind thing rather than a technical thing. The technical things must become auto. This though is attitude so perhaps you can use it consciously while singing.
ALSO: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haa.
ALSO: You can see that you can not do this in the street for instance. You might only feel permission to do it in rehearsing and in performance.
ALSO: You might describe this better.
I once had my head kicked in by 2 skinheads at Angel tube station, London. This may have been because I was wearing a red jumper and a golden badge and blue eye make-up
Approaching Christmas one year I was randomly chosen to be pushed into the road by a rampaging european woman at around 5am in East Dulwich, London. She had moments earlier been noisily ejected from her female lover’s flat. I decided to deal with this situation by gazing at her kindly, in the manner of Jesus. She backed away carefully
Some people call me ‘Skurvy Irvy’ to my face. I’m told that this is intended as a demonstration of affection and familiarity
Two young men began to mug me in a dimly lit section of Deptford High Street early one Saturday evening, placing one of their 4 arms around my shoulders without invitation. Due to a previous attack I instantly became filled with indignant rage which emerged in the form of a blood-curdling scream. They decided to abandon their mission and briskly trotted away to the north
Recently, without looking up from her Mega Bloks, my daughter (5), sighed and told me “Daddy, when you play the piano it makes me feel even sicker”
One fine summer evening on the bottom floor of a double decker bus on Brixton Hill a man told me “I’m going to cut you, you s**t”. This was because I had foolishly distracted him from his original purpose of threatening a woman. The bus driver now stopped the vehicle and opened the doors to make it easier for me to be murdered. The aggressive man then enquired of me “Do you want some?” to which I calmly replied “No! I do not”. This exchange was repeated almost identically a large number of times. The man eventually became so frustrated that he began to sob and was led from the bus by a kindly older lady. I continue to recommend public transport
Because my northern english accent made me pretty much unintelligible when I first moved to London, the Australian barman of a pub in Chelsea misunderstood my request for half a lager, giving me a whole pint. When I pointed out that there had been an error he responded by leaving his post in order to angrily shake an oar at me. My girlfriend of the time was able to recommend a pub across the street. This left us in a difficult situation though since we had already paid for tickets for a performance of A Clockwork Orange to be held in the upstairs room of the pub from which I had now been so unfairly banned. Happily, my girlfriend of the time was able to recommend re-entry by fire-escape
My friend who is a man-about-town and I were drinking alcohol in the otherwise deserted basement of a pub in Grays Inn Road when 3 women strangers marched into the room, lowered their underwear and commanded us to judge their rears. Without thinking I immediately cried “It’s clearly contestant B!” As soon as the words had left my mouth I realised that the instant conviction of my decision must have been a dreadful blow for the other entrants. I vowed never again to take on the terrible responsibility of judging a bottom-contest
When I am eating, I sometimes shout out in great pain because I have suddenly and ferociously bitten the inside of my mouth. When this happens I briefly become so angry that I want to kill myself. I don’t mean that I want to commit suicide – I just want revenge
My 5 year old daughter recently claimed that while she was still in the womb she was able to create cave-paintings on her mother’s bones
I am always polite and respectful to figures of authority but when I was told by a Shrewsbury policeman that he was going to arrest me for stealing petrol I accidentally laughed in his face because I thought he was joking. I was put in a cell for 3 hours and then interrogated. The same slightly shy and gentle policeman couldn’t think of anything to ask me but with my help and encouragement we managed to get down on tape the fact that I am not a counterfeiter of 10 pound notes (even though I had recently gained a diploma from The London College of Printing) and that the tenner which had alarmed the woman at the petrol station had always been genuine. As I was being released a herd of struggling away-supporter football hooligans was dragged into the station. These angry young men were, by coincidence, from my home town although at the time I could not know this because I am immune to football
My girlfriend gets really annoyed whenever I play the theme from Cheers. I don’t think she minds my piano playing or even my singing and she certainly likes the song itself. What drives her mad is when I announce at the end that “CHEERS is filmed before a LIVE – STUDIO – AUDIENCE”
Because I love to walk long distances all over London (or any city), I was once interviewed on Channel 4 about an imaginary sport called Urban Walking. I tried to be a perfect talking head but my voice kept telling them I could not recommend Urban Walking to anyone. Something else I do not recommend is seeing yourself on TV because that’s when you find out that you have always looked, to other people, like a twitching motel receptionist who hardly moves his lips when he speaks
One dark winter my lungs became filled up with fluid. My chest felt like it contained mud and razor blades, and the toxins in me caused astonishing and beautiful visual disturbances. Whenever I closed my eyes I saw an overpowering, high-resolution, 200 mile per hour, full-colour dissolving-world scenario which was viewed through video-game camera work. I saw fine close-ups which were detailed far beyond anything I have observed in the real world. I saw enormous wide-shots of an entire solar system which then zoomed in with sweeping camera work to a liquid-engulfed world where unresistable water swept away buildings, vehicles, trees, mountains, entire cities and happy laughing crowds of people. As the anti-biotics slowly defeated the stuff in my body the water gradually ate away the soil of the planet and my hallucinations began to fade. A doctor at the hospital told me that they were not intending to commit me because I seemed to know the difference between the visions and my real world. I told him I was very grateful.
I don’t really want my loved ones to have to pay for the upkeep so they should trash them if they like.
Maybe they will put all my sites on a USB stick and cremate it. Or fire it at the moon.
SO: YOUR WEBSITES GET ERASED TO MAKE SPACE FOR FRESH NEW ONES.
ALSO: If it becomes a tradition to pass on hosting fees, in just a few generations everyone will curse their ancestors. Not that I’d mind very much.
ALSO: Try to be less confusing.
I was thinking you could have a self-esteem-ometer. A wrist-gauge which displays where you are on a scale from depressed to happy.
Because self-esteem drains slowly away like petrol in a petrol car it made sense to monitor your current level so you can do something about it.
The best thing I ever found out was that you CAN manage your self-esteem. Why do we not tell people?
The process became – realising you are running low and then doing something which you know fills your tank again.
For me, this means doing something which made me afraid. I don’t mean physical danger (although that obviously works for people). The best method for me has been performing shouty-poems in front of a drunken audience. This always works.
Also assisting people to make something (music, comedy, websites) makes me walk around the house rubbing my hands together. I don’t know why. I’m not very afraid of this one though.
SO: WHEN SELFESTEEMOMETER IS DIPPING BADLY DO SOMETHING FRIGHTENING.
ALSO: Parenthood is good for this too.
ALSO: I think you could view self-esteem as actually being happiness.
ALSO: This might all be cobblers though.
ALSO: Please explain this better next time.