a virtual trunk

The Sound Trunk

Where you realize you are perched on top of a virtual trunk.

Mastering Your Perching Up

Merging yourself with your instrument makes you vertically work out your sound column, letting your relaxation rolling downwards ; then, the part of your body located above your diaphragm gets oblivious, while you can visualize the embouchure at the sound source, as your vital center in your belly bottom.

« You feel your upper body components to become lighter, as if they were freed from gravity, while you get invaded by an immovable, but not heavy, stability feeling in your abdomen. »

Michel Ricquier, L’utilisation des ressources intérieures – André Lysbeth, Revue mensuelle Yoga (Translated by Guy Robert)

{Grigori Kogan in his lectures and later (1958) in his small book U vrat masterslva (“At the Gates of Mastery“) put forward as psychological prerequisites of successful pianistic work three basic principles :

(1) The ability to hear inwardly the musical composition which has to be realized on the instrument — to hear it extremely clearly as a whole, as well as exact in all its details.

(2) The most passionate and persistently intense desire to realize that glowing musical image.

(3) The full concentration of one’s whole being on his task in everyday practice as well as on the concert stage.}

The psycho-technical school advocates the free and complete use of all parts of the pianist’s apparatus, beginning at the fingertips and including the torso. This technique is universal, or in other words, the really natural technique of coordination.

George Kochevitsky, The Art Of Piano Playing

get rooted

Hence, your real physiologic trunk fades out behind the sound column, while your pelvis and lower limbs appear now as a virtual tree trunk, the roots of which ensure your posture stability and propagate the vibrating sound.

Grass cannot grow without its roots. Same thing with your sound : if you don’t provide it with roots, it crashes down, it’s as simple as that.

You can hold on to this natural breathing only if you stay relaxed. For that, you need to stand grounded on your feet, well balanced around your center of gravity.

When seated, you should consciously feel your buttocks and your feet. Anyway, you must be grounded, then you can let your relaxation spread downwards.

Robert Pichaureau, A tous vents (Translated by Guy Robert)

« You feel as if you were changed into a statue. You hang to the ground and not to your trumpet.« 

Robert Pichaureau, Expressions favorites (Translated by Guy Robert)

The main idea consists in using gravity, instead of struggling with it, and in pulling power from the ground.

To achieve this, the musician should picture himself getting rooted like a tree : he then pushes downwards and the ground sends this input power back to him.

Marie-Christine Mathieu, Gestes et postures du musicien (Translated by Guy Robert)

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