Click this link for the full presentation on the Dr. Alfred Tomatis work with singers and the science that he was awarded top scientific awards…
Every singer is unique when you know how to achieve an authentic & embodied singing voice…
But I am want to speak specifically to the difference between a singer who gets their voice outside their body into the space around them, and thus achieves what is known as ‘sonic return’. The word sonic has to do with sound waves or the speed of sound. We can say sonic waves.
In the theater, or any live performance where there is no amplification, the actor or singer used to have to set off acoustically, or sonically, the space they were singing in. Today, if amplification is suddenly turned off, most singers might not fill the space nor be understood. Plain and simple. And honestly, many cannot be fully understood with the mic.
It took me many years to be able to get my voice out of my body and learn to use the room as an extension of my voice without over-exerting or forcing. It took a long time to be able to produce that ‘sonic return’ that is accomplished by utilizing elasticized relaxation and the least amount of tension in the throat, the least amount of air needed at any given frequency/note and thus achieving maximum resonance.
Many singers have been trained that their voice is experienced inside their body but this is erroneous, given todays understanding through the lens of physics and acoustics. A skilled wind musician knows that their task is to dose the least amount of air (which might still be a significant amount) and the least effort to experience that <strong>sonic return</strong> coming back at them, from the performance space, that resonance coming from 360 degrees and bathing you, the room and the audience in that sonic, recharging energy.
In the early part of the 1900’s, there was a lot of singing voice training that followed a mechanical model that is still taught today to a degree. But we are an organism and so comparing an organism to a machine is very limited indeed. Organisms are way more complex and sophisticated than a machine and have biologically evolved to use the LEAST amount of energy and tension to communicate dynamically. Our nervous system is energy conserving in its very nature. It is a survival imperative to express oneself and is therefore completely based on instinct; nothing mechanical about it and we don’t have to ‘think’ when we are engaged in self-expression.
Singing and speaking are actually the same physiological process with minor adaptations, depending on the circumstance. But your body has to have achieved a minimum of intrinsic muscle integrity, elasticity and functionality in order to have an experience of this non-linear (whole is greater than sum of the parts) phenomenon. We have all touched on it but doing it day in and day out takes training from someone who knows how to get you there.
I can help here. I have spent more that 4 decades singing and learning all I could in a comprehensive way, both the art and the science. I write about my path that I call Intrinsic Singing SM in my upcoming book “Intrinsic Singing” (due to be published soon)
If you want to know more, go to this LINK to learn how you can accelerate development as a singer toward achieving mastery over your voice.