Opening up the FIRE in your voice...
by, 04-17-2012 at 07:01 PM (1179 Views)
Your voice is a gateway..
The voice lessons continue.. part 3.
We started off with our ‘earth’ voice, that deep low round sound, working through water and now we’re up to the ‘fire’ voice.
Fire: That’s a very different sound. We focussed a lot on the solar plexus, first you have to find it... that round lumpy core of you just below the ribs. (Apparently some German voice school refers to it as a manta ray shape). It’s like an energy centre for your breath/sound. Different emotions activate/resonate in different areas of the body but fire is described as the gateway. It has what I'm guessing to be a mid range frequency, a direct ‘carrying’ tone and sort of cuts through the air... Teachers use it, parents use it. It’s a particular tone for effective communication. You mobilise your face more with the fire voice and make eye contact to connect with your audience.
In order to connect with our solar plexus, we did some very entertaining breathing exercises... C’mon, I dare you to try it. Mouth open wide and tongue hanging out, make yourself pant like a dog... first a happy dog and then an angry dog. [I’m pausing here while you try it out]
Feel that gut spot, just at the top of your belly twanging in and out. If you really get the motor going, you should feel it loud and clear.
Your jaw works as a resonator, we want it to open spontaneously to let the sound out. The ‘fire’ voice is wider than the oval shape for an ‘earth’ voice. How do you open your mouth? This was kinda interesting. Think of going to the dentist and saying Ahhh... do you open your bottom jaw first or your top? Some of us were struggling with our jaws going clicketty-clack and we tried this exercise for a clicky jaw. Open your mouth a little way and then engage your upper jaw until you feel the cold air in the roof of your mouth and then take the rest of the jaw a little lower... It means you are leading the process with your upper jaw (tongue tucked behind your bottom teeth). All too often we just open ‘down’, opening ‘up’ is kinda cool.
And now onto the tongue... the articulator that shapes the sounds. Apparently it’s hot-wired to the brain (which explains why when you drink too much, it can slow down quite markedly) to chop up the vowels and consonants. I’m not sure whether right brain/left brain is now out of fashion, but this theory gives the tongue a double function incorporating both speech and emotion.
Try saying this over a couple of times:
Articulatory agility is a desirable ability,
manipulating with dexterity, the lips the teeth and the tongue
Different languages/cultures, use their mouths in quite different ways. For example, English can be quite a forward-speaking language, think of the English aristocracy and that ‘plummy’ crisp speech. As a kiwi, my use of English tends to be a bit slower and lazier whereas the Aussies tend to use a bit more ‘fire’ with a more direct form of speech.
But what I found really interesting, was following through the analogy of the elements, earth water fire and now just starting on ‘air’... I started thinking about the frequency ranges of these voices and it started making more sense. The earth voice is in those low tones, so when you speak in ‘earth’ you are likely to get lost in the mix or in the conversational crowd. In ‘fire’ it seems you are moving up the scale with an eq factor (?) that cuts through and allows you to be heard. Air freqs are higher again and bring in a much greater emotional content. I’m going to have to play around with this and do some more analysis but it’s interesting for me to sense a science behind the at-times new-age sounding philosophy.
I have noticed a real difference in the quality of sounds that I’m creating. When I do the w@rm-ups and really work on an awareness of the process, I’m hearing a heap more detail in my vocals. You can check out my latest efforts in the Bash Section Dark is the Pathway of Love - Emma I’m on a learning journey here and make no claims of any sort – I’m just finding this stuff really interesting and thought maybe others would too.