I had a vocal lesson today with Sue Kingham who teaches contemporary vocals out of her own Sue Kingham Vocal Studio in Perth. As I'm going to start performing (as of, well, tomorrow night actually), I figured I better get my shit together and get some lessons from a pro.
A couple of interesting observations occured to me during the lesson. One was that, as a composer, I can write whatever I like that actually suits me... I didn't really understand the power of that, but a good example is that I had written a transposition of "Little Games" up a fifth, so it suited my vocal range better - I'm a tenor - and it really sounds good between D and Ab, rather than G and Db. This sounds pretty simple, but whilst I was at it I also completely changed the rhythmic approach (compound, not simple), and even then, the rhythm is still pretty fluid when it actually comes to performance.
Today we started doing octave exercises, to skip over passagio (the break between chest and head or falsetto, between head and whistle voice). Sue asked me why I wanted to do it and, well, whatever technique I learn, I'll simply incorprate into my next song! Another great thing as a composer / performer - I can extend my performance technique through composition as well.
Sue seemed to really like "Meth Song" - I have a feeling it is an important work, because it is an opportunity to discuss addiction and tackle it from a compassionate perspective.
We worked on "Little Games" and "Meth Song" today - the higher passages were bothering me... not that I can't get that high (As, Bs) in chest voice (or combo of a bit of chest/head), but I was just sounding terrible when using actual lyrics. So Sue got me to change the vowels slightly, not so that the words became unrecognisable, but so that they became suddenly a lot easier to sing.
The spectrum of sound from "E" to "A" is fascinating, at what point does the vowel actually change? ... this is it, there isn't a precise point.
Same with sexuality, same with fact... The spectrum of reality is rooted in perception and context, so it is therefore subjective as well as objective. Given the variability of subjectivity, reality is simply chaos that we wade through hoping to understand and connect. If we connect with other people enough, at least we're not alone in our fabricated existence.