Thursday, November 5, 2009
Kashu-do (歌手道): The Way of the Singer: Official Title Change
I have thought of changing the blog title ever since I serendipitously came up with the Japanese moniker a few months ago. Yet I did not want to lose the origin of the blog, which as you all know came from posting on NFCS. Well it seems I may change the display title and keep the URL the same: http://tsvocaltech.blogspot.com
So I am able to keep both aspect.
The reason for Kashu-do (歌手道) should be clear. The Japanese script (In this case, Chinese characters transliterated in Japanese) has to do with my rather significant experiences in Japan and my long love affair with the Martial Arts, which I find have a great deal to do with singing. The great Kung Fu Masters always said that the ideals of Kung Fu are found in every discipline. Kashu (singer) is obviously one of the first words I learned when I began concertizing in Japan some 8 years ago (I only stopped when I decided to undergo my vocal change). Do as in Karate-Do (The Way of the Empty Hand ) is used for every art-form.
The Way of the Singer® is by no means an absolute or a single manner that is right or wrong. The Way of the Singer is very personal, and so each person experiences singing in a very unique way, as is the case with Kung Fu, which I practiced for a time years ago and something I wish to return to one day soon. As with the martial arts, singing is a discipline that deals with our entire being. As much as this blog began with vocal science at its center, it has expanded from that center. As I have always written here, science is a beginning. Singing is something much more.
Naturally I will continue to find clarity through science and as promised will begin a very thorough analysis of the great singers of the past (as much as acoustic science will allow). But I will unabashedly intersperse my scientific posts with posts on musicianship along the lines of the Winterreise posts (that are not completed yet by the way) and posts that address the spiritual experience of the singer.
Kashu-do seeks to explore the world of the singer in hopes of developing a physical, mental and spiritual approach to this discipline that honors it and those who practice it with an artistic rather than superficial aim. Although I am a teacher, I am only one. Most importantly I am a student of the art of singing with a finite set of experiences. And although many seek my advice, I am no Guru (some use the term derogatorily) in the sense of some all-knowing master whose principles should not be questioned. I am however one who has gone through this singer's path consciously and always questioning deeply. I started teaching very early (my junior year of undergrad) encouraged by my vocal pedagogy teacher, Judith Nicosia, who saw in me a talent for teaching. I wanted my students to avoid my errors. And as I have made many errors, I have much to offer in terms of warnings, but hopefully with my own transformation over the past 26 years, I have also direction to offer.
Perhaps I strike myself off of any pedestal so that no one else feels the need to do so. Those who know me could affirm that my own ego is the last thing on my mind. Finding some kernel of truth is the most important thing and sharing it and discussing it and debating it is my source of pleasure.
Thank you to all of you for willing to take the journey with me thus far. I look forward to our growth together down The Way of the Singer.