Sunday, July 1, 2012

Five. Momentum


Atrophy: degeneration, decline, or decrease, as from disuse.

It had been six years since he had sung with any degree of professionalism. For a former vocalist, that period felt like a lifetime, and he was no longer "in voice." He no longer truly remembered how to be in voice. The first practice session had been intensely painful - not due to vocal damage, but from the stark realization that he could no longer produce the rich, vibrant tone he assumed of himself; rather, he was forced to confront the fact that the shallow, breathy tones he heard were his own.

That first practice session almost discouraged him from singing at all, but with an application of will  - and the spectre of a performance looming - he kept at it. The tone did not return to its former beauty; his timbre had changed, apparently forever. But the notes smoothed; breath control returned - painfully slowly - and he began practicing proper posture with fewer conscious reminders.

Today, this day, he sang. When he opened his mouth, the notes were flat and shake. His voice was unsupported. His pallet wasn't raised.

He didn't care - it felt like he was singing again, and that was all that mattered; for the first time in years, he was again a vocalist.

Afterward, the audience applauded and thanked him for being willing to sing. Then, they asked him to sing again.

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