the sensations

Your Sound Sensations

Mastering your expression leads you to enjoyment, all the more spontaneous as it results from a relaxation, rather than from a physical strike.

Have Fun !

Letting your internal opening spread downwards fosters your feelings, enhancing your self-confidence and ensuring your sound quality.

« Your thinking drives your will for sure, but since your will may cancel your desire, you cannot reach your balance without desire and you cannot succeed without enjoyment.

Yes, these are only sentences, but they depict the real life, it’s as simple as the art of being yourself, however you should not think in order to be yourself, this is the reason why we say that you should be self-confident.

You should feel as an artist, and develop an expressive relaxation, in other words, as Mrs Hoppenot states it in “Le violon intérieur“, tonicity in relaxation.»

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

« You should feast yourself with music.
You should live your sound.
Life is in the guts.
You head should drop down in your shoulders, you should pack down, and become a HEAP !« 

Robert Pichaureau, Expressions favorites (Translated by Guy Robert)

« The less energy spent on technical production, the more available for creativity.

Being as relaxed as possible in playing allows the creative mind as well as the emotions to more easily come forth. »

David Liebman, Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound

« (…) the whole thing is about relaxation ; all of music for me is about relaxation : if you’re uptight when you’re playing, the music is uptight.

And if you’re totally in the zone where you’re just so cool, you’re having fun (…) »

Eddie Daniels, The Music of Eddie Daniels, Eddie on Standards – Warner Bros Music 0742B – PP 6031 – 2005

have confidence…

Speaking of which, George Kochevitsky analyzes in The Art Of Piano Playing the linking between the muscles synchronization and the quality of the musical output.

Stabilizing your mental images associated to your proprioceptions helps you to reproduce your body preparation at your will, hence reinforcing your self-confidence. Then, your body should remain ready to vibrate, from its prepared state, allowing you to picture your own image associated to the vibration laying and sounding : from that point on, your sensations develop, among them your being centered around your sound. That ensures the continuity of the tone, as if it were radiating from your heels.

Such an approach is indeed valid for any instrument, the piano among them, and has a direct impact on your live technique, coming out through your fingers, and combined with the tongue articulation of the wind player.

« { Ludwig Deppe (1828-1890) wrote that tone must be produced, not by finger stroke (…) but by coordinated action of all parts of the arm. }
Ludwig Deppe required her (Amy Fay, one of his pupils) to follow consciously the duration of each tone, to imagine the pitch and volume of the next one, and only then to transfer very carefully from that tone to the next.« 

« And until there is a connection between the inner musical imagination, the innervation of movement, muscular sensations, and careful and critical listening to the results, no form of movement is of practical value.« 

« So movements in piano practicing differ, sometimes considerably, from those in piano playing. In the first case we have to consider not only artistic purpose but physiological points as well.« 

« (…) the main materials for the building of piano technique are the proprioceptive sensations. Hence lack of clearness in these sensations from finger activity will inevitably result in indistinct finger technique.

The player must receive a clear proprioceptive sensation from each movement, sensation which does not coalesce with the sensation from the next movement, and is not suppressed by it. »

George Kochevitsky, The Art Of Piano Playing

Finding Your Optimal Position

That being understood, you quietly settle your internal configuration, then you, as a wind player (you are still not supposed to blow !), drive your instrument to your mouth : at the same time, capturing your diaphragm positioning at the very end of your natural inhaling, you let that sensation flow backwards, starting or keeping your stable vibrating on your exhaling. You end up sitting on your voice sound propagating from the ground through your feet, then in the surrounding space – as Alfred Tomatis shows it in The Ear And The Voice.

your vibrating aura

The internal vibration of your body, surging out of the sound column, feeds your singing, which is then amplified by your instrument.

Thanks to letting-go, this vibrating sensation globally develops from several zones interacting and radiating through the entire body: the Hara, the heels, the head and the resonance center of the instrument. This stable configuration makes it possible to control a homogeneous sound and articulation across the entire range, and in particular brings a playing consistency between the saxophone and the clarinet.

Being concentrated on the source of your internal song eliminates unnecessary tensions and fosters the link with your musical intent : you feel like filling up the space with your ​​voice.

« The body literally vibrates with song and harmony. (…) The act of singing permits us to open a dialog with space so that we become flooded by its vibrations and merge with it, acoustically speaking.« 

« The interactions between the singer’s physical body and the acoustic environment create a proprioceptive image of the body, and they structure a sensory-motor experience of the surrounding space in a perpetual dialog.« 

« A professional singer with a great technique causes us to breathe fully, our pharynx opens, our larynx moves without tightening. The articulation is supple, passing from one syllable to another without breaking the melodic line, without losing intensity, and we are transported.« 

« Teaching voice relies on subjective sensations that can only be described in words. (…) We have to make our sensations conscious so that they can be reproduced at will and associated to the corresponding muscular response.« 

« Singing requires mastery over yourself to attain maximum sound output with minimum muscular effort.« 

« Your sensations will be confined to the organs involved in singing. It sends acoustic stimulation to every part of the body, encouraging it to adopt certain postures. It helps to straighten the trunk, for instance, which helps it to resist the pull of gravity, thus increasing the charging effect on the brain.« 

« When singing is well executed, it triggers a wealth of internal sensations that make the body into a vibrating instrument.« 

Alfred Tomatis, L’oreille et la voix – (Translated by Guy Robert)

Your absolute non-pushing (since you do not blow !), combined with the vertical sensation generated from your Hara, lets your vibration spread from your heels, in the same fashion as does the one from Dominique Hoppenot‘s Inner Violin.

playing for pleasure

Your aim is to re-produce at your will the rewarding feeling of inner vibration, by quickly retrieving the relevant attitude : your body configuration is then assessed by your  self-confidence coming with the stability of the sound source, which is just waiting to be revealed and instantly revived, to be next amplified by the instrument.

« The most constructive motivation in the conquest of the instrument is the enjoyment motivation (…)« 

« Our approach aims at developing an intimate and acute awareness of what you feel from a gesture or several combined gestures, until you can retrieve them and perform them exactly without any doubt, from a mere instantaneous mental evocation of the revealed sensation.« 

« Sensations can only arise from shaping our desires, hence by creating associated mental images (…)« 

« The appropriate feeling corresponds to a well-being suited to everyone, adapted to the prior mental image (…)« 

« (…) the feeling of “your self“ (…) leads you to experience the vertical axis, the mobility in space, the balance of opposing forces, the centering in “Hara“ (…) The contact feelings are generated from a keen awareness of your rooting to the ground, from the quality of your fingers presence on the bow and on the violin (…) Other feelings develop later during the playing itself ; they result from an already very elaborate achievement : a precise gesture, the feeling of “playing on yourself“, of “letting go“ and “laissez faire“ linked to the extreme vigilance of perception and listening (…)« 

« (…) we are forced to consider that a performance is felt only through the pleasure of “vibration“.« 

« He who has found his voice, that is to say his sound, no longer has to search it nor to fear its failure because it actually is. He just needs to call it without ever forcing it, to let it come and “let it go“ according to music, its master !« 

Dominique Hoppenot, Le violon intérieur – (Translated by Guy Robert)

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