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Silent Singer

I am not quite sure who said “The Music is in the silence”. I often say to my voice students, look at the “rests” in the music. Those silent breaks can allow for your deepest emotional expression. Singers, unlike instrumentalists have the responsibility of text or poetry on most occasions. For me that means I have the delightful task of making those words my own, while also incorporating the composer's musical expression.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Meditation retreat, with the purpose of having a bit of a break from a busy life. The idea of learning more about Meditation certainly was a draw for me but I guess, I did not fully comprehend the word “silent” when it came to a retreat....Not only was the Meditation silent, but so were the meals and the walks – mindful and quiet! I like a challenge but as a Singer who makes her living making noise, this was a tall order. I also happen to enjoy meeting new people, talking with them and getting to know who they are – no such luck. After short introductions, we were asked to be silent.......can you feel the pause? Of course, there were moments when I got the giggles and had to suppress them (well I tried!). Then finally, a calm came over me and I got into the groove, I did not want to speak, I did not want to sing, I just wanted to breath. In that quiet I found a deep expression of myself, a place to go to reconnect my mind with my body, a space to listen to my internal instrument and give it a meaningful voice. Meditation and quiet are now a daily part of my life. It is the “rest” in the musical poetry of my existence that allows me to find my deepest emotional expression.

There is a striptease in the forest

If you stand witness for many moons

You will see the birch

Shed her bark

As she waits patiently for death.