While travelling to visit a friend I had the radio on in the car and was listening casually to a favourite record programme. That’s going far back is it not? Suddenly I was captivated by a most beautiful voice, and had to pull over to the side of the road for fear I drove off into the ocean, or into the on-coming traffic. The singer was the very young Italian Mezzo-Soprano, Cecilia Bartoli, and I had to scoured the shops for her CDs when I arrived at my destination. What splendid technique and total connection to Soul; I’d never heard anyone sing that way before.
When I got home I was still raving about my finds, and after putting them on for the family to hear, I wanted to sing some of my own songs, to capture the beauty that was in Cecilia’s voice.
DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL! Believe me, really much worse! My whole being was completely devoid of the wondrous sound that I could hear so clearly in Cecilia’s voice.
You know the expression, ‘I climbed Everest because it was there,’ well I decided there and then to find my voice, because without it I felt less than nobody. It took about fifteen years to get the proper technique and find the place of opening and surrender, for that was what was wanting, and along the way I had to give up being the person I thought I was. The process was often physically painful, because I was no spring chicken when I started, and all my attitudes, convictions and confusions were already fixed solidly in my body, and before I could move ahead vocally, I had to dig them all out again. Better than couch therapy, though; now I have a voice that is mine, and an great understanding of music and song I might never have known was there.