Singer since very young, it is twelve months she studies with me. You will hear that she is quite in order but there is a huge difference in bewteen the Dianne Reeves and Alicia Keys’s songs and Withney Houston’s one: this is the diaphragm connection that I long looked for her, not perfect yet in all the passages but connected and so it will be possible to train it and have those passages perfects just by using it and remaining connected. Enjoy!
I intentionally call it contemporary now, meaning that now his technical statement is something that gives answers to this precise historical and artistic moment. I call his precise statement the first ten vocalises of his method, and what he really wants in them. My teachers had misunderstood how to do them and they all said to avoid doing, that chest voice was too heavy and dangerous. Garcia did not want the chest voice as XXth century has understood it; he wanted a very special way of proceeding to find it. He wanted something that some will find not balanced enough, it is instead able to structure the breathing before pronounciation. He wanted before to structure muscles and after to start putting movement and pressure in it. He wanted that A belcantista that you find by having an inside position of O or U (it depends on subjectivity, after it becomes the neutral position of Seth Riggs) and having the breath just creating the sound without any kind of real pronounciation and letting an elastic movement into the larynx. For some can be a too high larynx position, and it is true if badly intended. If well executed it is just the light principle and what was called to sing on the soffio del fiato, meaning on the just surface of breathing. This is something that was the centre and specialization of Italian belcanto school, so useful for damaged and young voices, so useful to find a sound that seems more from the Universe and the void and the lights of it than from Earth and for this in those days of changement so contemporary. It is like to get into the light and meaning of notes avoiding too much of what Frenchs call ‘chair’, the flesh, the so moving and plenty of things flesh is but too plenty of muscles and vessels and liquids and taste to be the straight the urge of modern needs. It will of course change again (I am yet working to have it back in sound but from this new starting point, and not the old too grounded, and know that it will be correct the time of training it, a couple of years for musical market), but it is the difference between contemporary yoga vinyasa and Iyengar, the flow and the new way of absorbing and using prana, and using yoga to render hommage, consistency and phisiology to changes. I love Seth Riggs work, I love my great master Giannella Borelli, I think now we need and understand better how to use Garcia really and completely and then surpass him, thanking him for this so contemporary statement as it was Schumann’s one (true innovators talk especially to some generations after, really after). Think that contemporary is using Garcia to get to Rihanna through Mozart (listen to Love on the Brain and Mozart Abendempfindung and you will have a surprise if you listen well) and new music, as to really get to Schubert I think you have to get through Schumann and take away from him the heavy old romantic sense and find that light and kind of direct dialog thet now we can see so well in the ordinary days.
I am someone who can solve the reason why some people can’t be effective in a vocal technique or style, or when a professional can’t have the full or correct use of its instrument even with excellent teachers or coaches. I was a soloist and being trained in Italian Belcanto technique. A chronic disease that affects my inflammation level in the body related to a medical malpractice made my career last just three years during which I achieved goals I even had not dreamt about (further details https://luciacossu.com/about/).
I started then teaching, vocal technique. Being frustrated by seeing some structural issues that made some singers think about them and never relax into a deeper dialog with music I tried to found ways to solve them forever with the same approach to sound I had when I was a soloist. So I invented some physical exercises and discovered in what they were useful to a wider range of persons, even if invented on someone specific. This became a corpus of exercises, some totally invented by me, some are yoga or dance exercises modified to be useful for voice muscular chains. I have so found some principles to work on the reason why some can’t have a proper vocal technique even with good teachers. I found the relation voice-muscular chains in a way not imagined by professionals and now also the way some Manuel Garcia vocalises were intended and why even my excellent belcanto teachers couldn’t use them correctly. . It is a very specific work, nothing to do with others body practises for singers, useful but less precise for a vocal purpose. To be sure that the results with my students were really appropriate I put some people with and without vocal problems under medical control before and after our work together and it was confirmed the solution of their vocal problems in very short time, while a medical prevision of no improvement possible (https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/ https://luciacossu.com/2016/09/13/sister-i-another-example-of-my-method/, M. 7 years old/ M. 7 anni, One of the participants to my study last year) and those with no issues had confirmed an improvement in voice and posture.
When I say it is new I don’t mean that my work comes from nothing and goes to a new land, no. I mean that it is a step forward in what is the italian belcanto technique. I mean that it brings to the vocal land many that couldn’t previously reach it. And those who are yet there have a way to refine and obtain more.
That it is: a way to bring to voice (and voice styles and technique or even just natural voice) those who couldn’t before and to refine and find tools and expression for the advanced and the professionals.
It is a sort of way to put everybody to the zero point.
Professional singing is not natural and it is a wearing activity, that’s why you need a technique. A technique, a good technique, will make yourself and nobody notice those two things and that’s why it is so important for singers to build a proper technique instrument, and for us the professional of voice to ajourn our tools and adjust and evolve them with the evolution of music.
In vocal technique to solve a technical point often means to make in the perception of the singer the disappearing of the question. This is the case for the passaggi, or vocal bridges. When truly solved the mechanism to adapt gesture and postures and muscles work and copertura will make the singer never perceive that such passaggio do exist.
* This is one of the typical examples of how a technical level will give opposite perceptions, even if from a physiological level the question is the same. In a technical solved level the singer will say exactly the opposite of the not solved singer about any question.
One of the fundamental points in technique is when and with what position making the copertura, especially related to the first turn of the larynx for the first bridge. Great part of national schools and national taste in sound is given by this position and way of making the copertura. If you prefer you can think about it as the first point in which you make the turn of the larynx, being the second the necessary one to obtain the high notes in female voices, falsetto in men and a certain kind of successive slightly turn for high notes in men voices while sustaining when it is not desired a falsetto sound.
It gives the clear and precise english sound in medium and medium high register with its quite high position and the habit of not getting below, the somewhat flatted and falsetto sound in France, the velvet and lightness of accent and high tones in the spanish due to the involvement of soft palato to obtain their copertura, the always connected to sustain and back of american school that gives more strenght to the nearly same position then english school but less poetry in the ovetornes, the low position in german school that need to put some intubation to make the turn possible and connected, the perfect balance of all these elements in Italian belcanto school, the slightly below positions of the swedish italian belcanto that gives more weight by the lower position and greater use of back diaphgragm connection, the russian school which now is the closest to the XXth century italian belcanto we have.
The first turning point can be moved and managed both by pronounciation or use of mask muscles and soft palate or internal nose muscles and the sustain and appoggio muscles and the posture in itself. It is something to think about when starting a training and also it is to have a strategy about according to repertoire and market in which the singer is working or going to work.
The same pressure can be associated to strain or perfect phonation. There are many ways to produce the same pressure: creating it before the attack, on the attack, with a certain speed, at a precise speed and with or without suspension, with some muscles and timing and reciprocal order of movement, putting a tension in some part and then just creating a slight tension in another part to create conditions for the attack etc. Understanding this is fundamental to have a correct attack and many different ways of attacks accorded to musical and interpretative requirements.