Monday, April 25, 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 24 - The Choral Conductor Shaping Sound

I am a choral conductor by profession, and I teach a variety of age groups, most of which don't actually have a lot of music training in general. Today's prompt - poetic, fancy type words mixed up with ordinary everyday words - sounded so much like some of my teaching sessions, I decided to write it out. The main difference is that I can't - and don't - use big fancy words, although I certainly want the concept and idea of them in helping my students interpret the piece of music in front of them!

#24: The Choral Conductor Shaping Sound

All right, let's do some fixing.
This piece requires a very unctuous sound
Operatic, lush, even histrionic
Full-bodied, like a good vintage wine.

Choir, With Blank Looks:
Uh. What?

Your tone - your vocal quality
It needs to sound less like gossping aunties
And much warmer, like artisanal chocolate
More...round, like being in a cathedral
Round like...
A watermelon.

Yes watermelon.

Ok, that's much better but you're not quite there yet.
Your sound has to be fuller, and to do that
You need to support your singing.

*takes a breath*
*tries again with less-than-successful results*

Conductor's Brain:
Dear god what abominable farce
Have I gotten myself into
Platonic ideals this ain't
Time to try non-Euclidean reasoning

Conductor, Out Loud:
Not bad, let's try an experiment.
Imagine there's a cicak on my forehead.
Yes. Cicak.
Stop giggling, my darling Sopran maidens
And valorous Tenori.
Now imagine your voice is a laser beam
And try to kill the cicak on my forehead
With just your voice.

Forces in opposition
Atmospheric pressure plus gravity
Equals a stable object on the ground
Your voice is the same
Pitch goes up, support goes down

See? SEE? Well done!
(while I wax elegiac inwardly
At finding a combination of science and imagination
That somehow produces necessary results)

Good job, choir
See you next week!
(While my brain slurks back
Into the bowels of oblivion to plot
Yet more nefarious ways to shape your sound
Into something less Honking Duck, and more Nightingale.)

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