A Reflection by MommaK
When Vicki asked me to guest post for her, I accepted without hesitation. It was much later that I panicked. I had no idea what to write about here in her lovely and engaging space. In fact, I have been sulking around my own blog feeling much the same way. Leave it to Miss Vicki to get my juices flowing again.
Today I spent much of the afternoon covering my flower beds with mulch, enjoying the sunshine, my dogs and the birds. The birds were fluttering about and singing a beautiful song that made me think of Vicki and the healing power of sound.
When I was 18, I moved to New York City to attended an acting school. Through my two years of “Voice & Speech” and “Creative Movement” classes, I learned both the beauty and power of the unstructured sound. Our instructors would often interrupt a scene or monologue and ask us to give them such a sound. Like a cult of zombies, we would all turn and reply,
At first, this seemed very silly to me and at times (if I was standing next to a cute boy) intimidating and embarrassing. However, I soon grew to appreciate the value of the pure, raw, unrestricted sound coming from the depths of my diaphragm. It was a complete release which melted away the stress of standing in the spotlight. It was quite a humbling practice too. As you can imagine, it is very hard to take yourself too seriously when you’re doing this exercise.
As a student, I was witness to a series of these exercises that brought both male and female students to tears and sobs. This was not at all because of frustration but because the sound – making the sound – allowed them to feel something that their brain wasn’t letting through on stage. That was 14 years ago. Since my time there, I’ve held on to my appreciation for this form of undefined vocal language and have relied on it during times of grief and anxiety. To me, the release can be unparalleled.
In life, I am often reminded of this soulful expression. During a funeral procession, the wails of mourners echo with this noise. Musicians creatively explore this type of sound to find new material and inspiration. Birds are also masters of the unstructured sound – which brings me full circle and back to Vicki.
As I take my cue to exit, I leave the spotlight on for Vicki because this is her stage. This is her theater to laugh and to sing – her round table to debate and to discuss – her arena to reflect and to amuse – her venue to release and to heal. This is Vicki’s place to make her own very brave and unstructured sound and I look forward to hearing each and every one of them.