I just started the new contribution although I haven’t finished the previous article. But I’m still digesting my impressions from such great events. And also my speed is speed of a lying stone, so sometimes it is years until I finish things. Anyway…
Last month certain things got moving forward finally. At first, I probably found amazing female singer for improvisation music in style of old music with some oriental note to it, and probably another amazing one for improvisation probably in more oriental/balkan-like stuff, but I don’t know yet – let’s see, we haven’t trained properly as everyone has a vacation these days. In fact, many years I was longing for many-voiced singing, but haven’t asked anyone. However, this was the right time for asking because this year I got to know more people interested in old music and non-western styles. So that is the first good move. The second one is that I searched for some online course of Indian singing. It’s the same as with the first issue – since I heard oriental/middle-eastern music (I mean like Indian, Arabian, Persian music and some styles from eastern Europe where some elements of oriental music are used; btw. later I’ve got fascinated by Georgian and Armenian music, but I could talk about it forever), it gives me such thrills everytime I listen to it. It makes me feel I have ancestors from those regions, it makes my body moving, like every cell of every organ was dancing up to the sky. And of course I thought it was impossible to learn such things properly. But last week I have signed in online course on Hindustani singing (of which part is also dhrupad, my favourite singing style). Last years it probably is easier to find educational platforms like this – I think it’s the good side of globalisation – that people with internet share their cultures among each other and learn from each other’s cultural knowledge. So guys from the West are fascinated by beautiful Indian music and musicians from India make opportunities for these foreigners to learn it. I am very grateful for that!
One of things I love on this kind of music is ornamentation of voice. It is not used very much in the western music, except of some medieval, some renaissance, and baroque music. And in present, we know ornamented voices from blues, soul, gospel music, and such singing was taken by R’n’B or pop singers etc (I guess you all are familiar with it, we all know it from western mainstream). However, this kind of ornamentation is different from the styles I mention in previous paragraph. I don’t say better or worse, just different ! And there is something absolutely captivating about both of them ! Still, the group of music from the previous paragraph sounds sadder to me and that’s why it touches me so deeply. No matter if sad or happy, when listening to such style, I perceive voice as a substance or material, that is shaped various ways, it’s curly, wavy, and depending or its colour, it shines and sparkles, or it is soothing as velvet.. it exactly reminds me of diverse decorations and ornaments that are usually worn by women. Or in case of dhrupad, I have a feeling of a thick liquid smoothly flowing in a space.
Somehow this perception of way of singing fits together with my stance towards jewelry: some time ago, I discontinued wearing accessories, jewels and different stuff without any than aesthetic function. I got tired by such decorative things and don’t see any meaning for wearing them (beside the fact that it is complicated to match all these things to clothes I wear etc). Therefore I wish that my only jewel of mine was voice. It doesn’t mean it should be ornamented, it may be a minimalistic piece as well – but this jewel comes from the soul and heart (and how would you describe these two concepts?) and should be the most beautiful decoration on you (if you are a singer – if not, I think there are many things/qualities that make someone beautiful and a person can be proud of). And that is my semiphilosophical message I wanted to share with you. I am late to sleep, Good night !