Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Authentic Self Portraits

Currently, I am working on creating a gentle guide to healing based on authentic Life Story and Creativity. 

I have been thinking about photographs for my new website, who should take them, how they should be and when I awoke this morning, I had this idea that I should take the shots and that due to the nature of the content of the guide, that they should be taken right there and then, in the bare naked truth of the morning. So, I fumbled for my phone and started taking shots.

 I'm not sure if I will use them for the website or the Healing Guide but certainly, I think they are far more interesting than staged shots in a studio ... food for thought.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

How the chakra can help deaf singers to pitch

I am sharing this today as it may help other singers who, like me, find that they are now deaf in their upper vocal range.

For me, having lost the ability to pitch in the upper range is exacerbated by my tinnitus and hyperacusis. Because of these conditions associated with my hearing loss, I can not hear my own voice in my head and find myself unable to locate specific notes and so, after a career that started when I was 5 years old, I felt forced to stop singing professionally. 

It was once I had stopped singing that I realised that my voice was so much more than an instrument for work. It is part of me, it is in my every fibre, an expression of self. My voice singing has been my friend in times of grief and my companion in times of joy. Frankly, without it, I have felt bereft. 

Once I had been issued with two hearing aids by the NHS in December 2017, I felt brave enough to start playing the guitar and writing songs again. 

One morning during practice, I decided to give my upper ranges a blast, even though I couldn't pitch there properly. To my surprise, I found that when I went to the note I was looking for, I could feel my voice vibrating at the sides of my nose and through the sinuses, just below my eyes. The sinuses are small air filled cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead (see diagram above).  

With this new information, I began experimenting and deliberately noticing where my body held tension and release for certain notes and tones.

So far, I have found that I can pitch by recognising these vibrations in my face and head. This has led me to start experimenting with other parts of my body with equally surprising results.

By releasing my stomach and relaxing the muscles of the solar plexus and sacral areas, this helps me levitate my voice upwards into my head cavity, where I can then use the vibrations in the sinuses to find pitch. 

In short, whilst singing, I am releasing the sacral and solar plexsis chakra,  and then using awareness of the third eye and crown chakra to maximise vibrational awareness of my voice in the cranial area, thus enabling me to find and hold the pitch that I can no longer judge just by using my ears.

It feels important to share my findings with you. It is early days but I am stepping into a vocal practice to explore and expand my research. I'll keep you posted with results. For now, I am joyous to be able to 'hear' my voice again.