But, no sign of Holy Zarquon – so, I guess it’s not the end of the universe just yet.
This very morning I had my first singing lesson – or, at least the first since my voice not so much broke as shattered back in the late 1970s. Early days yet, but my range seems to cover a couple of octaves (few notes of which would require the use of a treble clef) and I have covered the letters M, N, NG, V, Z, R and E in vocal exercises (not a great Scrabble hand, I’ll admit – but if I could just get ‘zen’ on a triple word score…).
During the lesson, my singing teacher proffered the most accurate compliment I have ever received, viz that I have a big mouth and I’m not afraid to use it. The big mouth is good for a singer and, unlike many new students, I was fairly uninhibited about producing some volume (at one stage, I also essayed a rather dodgy cod Irish accent as well).
It would seem that my breathing needs some work and I need to find something to do with my hands – but, to be honest, the latter issue is not limited to my career in song. Unless I have previously evacuated my lungs (women and children first, obviously), I only breathe using the top half of my aforementioned bellows. However, we did discover that if I lean forward from the hips so that my head is between my shins and laugh, then the lower half of my oxygenation equipment is brought into play – though this is probably not a practical stance for my future concert career.
It may be that my washboard stomach (her description, not mine), whilst ideally suited to skiffle, may be restricting my breathing when trying to belt out an aria. As a result, I have an Alexander technique exercise to do – and, let me say, this is an exercise to which I’m really looking forward. As homework, I am to lie on the floor with my head on a couple of paperbacks for 20 minutes every day – I can listen to music, but otherwise should just lie there and not fall asleep. The effects will be gradual, so I may have to do this for months (or even years). It’s not that I want to do this, you understand, but I owe it to my public – I’ve denied the world my singing voice for too long!
So, am just off for a bit of a lie down (sorry, a bit of a workout).