So, I used my cricoid muscle extensively on Saturday night. Yes, I was more shoutier than usual. Since my workshop a couple of weeks ago, I have been revisiting some of my repertoire in a beltier way. This is similar to the way I sang about ten years ago, but also much different. Yes, this time was much different. It was interesting to see how the audience reacted. I had one gentleman come and ask me if I had ever sang opera. He said that my voice reminded him of many textures…many subtleties. The audience definitely seemed engaged in a different way…..or maybe it was just me….knowing that I was singing more on the edge….the edge of right and wrong….the edge of freedom.
What has changed? Quite a few things. Knowledge is power. For one thing I made sure the mic stand was a little higher, and the microphone was angled slightly downward so that I could tilt my head back for the belt. (I don’t hold the mic because I am playing keyboard). I would usually do this angle with my head anyway, but now I know why I’m doing it and why the placement of the microphone is so important. I notice that it indeed is necessary to free the voice from constriction. My soft palate was raised as high as it could go. My tongue was well placed and my mouth was big. My body was engaged like at no other time in the song…..yes, that feeling of certainty and strength is a familiar posture that keeps me aligned with the phrases and momentum of the music.
I experienced no hoarseness, no raspiness, no uncertainty. I experienced the maximum energy my body and voice had to give that evening. I experienced an audience who reciprocated with applause and awe. I experienced a sensation of total release and freedom. I experienced the ability to be able to do it again tomorrow.