"... can we meet again tomorrow?"
" Energizing, enlightening, applies to SO much more than just voice! This would be good for any group: school classes, or organization 'retreats'! "
Yesterday was awesome, Martin (and all)! The singing was SO great, the "boppers" were a blast, and the walk-talk-sing game was super and eye-opening!
LOVED the dynamcs, loved the space , loved the voices!!!
Looking forward already to March 15!
" I LOVE the deep musicianship and creativity and excellent leadership you and the others in your group exude."
"I enjoyed hanging out with such loving and safe people. This is life altering stuff! "
Improvox, inner voice
Improvox? This event provoques your voice to get out of its daily accepted comfort zone and let your inner voice seep through the cracks of the broken comfort.
After many years, too many years of hearing “oh, please, don't sing” or “You really don't have any sense of rhythm, do you?” as my unforgiving teenage Pierre likes to repeat to me, I came to believe it. Did I truly believe it? not really. At least I would not impose it on others and mostly reserve my singing outbursts to my lonely times, mostly in the car. Music has always been within me, that I know; I often break into singing at many unsuspicious - or one could say, even inappropriate times, such as when I started softly singing at my father's death bed or in the classroom when my students take a test! I would start softly humming while they work quietly and they gently have come to accept it as a natural part of their strange French teacher.
Yesterday's session with the warm, unthreatening people of Improvox, I was willing to try to let go. Not easy! I understand now how hidden public oral inhibitions are woven insidiously into the fiber of my daily interactions, but I was willing to just wait and see, to let it happen. As I shared at the beginning of the session, I had no hopes nor concerns as I really did not know what to expect! The meditation session at a Zen master that same morning probably helped set my mind in the moment, putting aside for a while, any hopes and concerns. The perfect day to join Improvox!
I was gently but firmly invited and led to hum, sing, move, follow rhythm, find my own rhythm - very difficult! - and most of all, find my own voice among many others often not in unison. A new daring experience for me! I love experiences, especially experiences about the self that help discover, uncover and unveil who my true self may be. Improvox does just that; it helps your inner self not only emerge but take over and shine through, discarding habitual patterns.
I found myself at some point singing aloud, improvising above, around and within the different individual rhythms of 11 other people! It was like a vocal dance, gentle and supported, yet firm and incredibly present. A powerful moment for me while I had initially thought I would refuse to participate in that exercise. I am so happy I did not let fear paralyze me. It was a surprisingly strong and rewarding moment. I was so grateful I let it happen!
I hope to carry with me the quiet strength and joy that accompanied that exercise. All this was done in a very joyful manner, in the way small children play unconsciously but with all their presence.
As the afternoon went on, I gained confidence enough to improvise a dance in public. Can I believe that? Dance I thought, was reserved to my artistic, spirited daring daughters and my musically inclined husband and son. But me? My 55 yr old.- not- so- limber body just accepted to break into a sort of a dance, more like improvised movements accompanying a silly also improvised story about humming birds and a painful birth(!!) while 3 people were scoring ( a new word for me!) in the background like a masked Greek chorus.
I danced alone and along with a partner I had only met two hours earlier, moving around un-selfconsciously, letting my body and not my mind guide me. A rare happening…
And this other exercise where this time I volunteered, yes I did volunteer, to be the improvising story teller leading the dancers and singers. I stepped forward, having no clue what story I would tell. Words and images started pouring out as I imagined the journey of a little mouse. I supported the adventures of her journey thanks to visual props around the room: a painting of a bridge, along which the little the mouse would scurry, the wooden door frame of the room she would climb along, the painting of boats on a lake surrounded by woods. I could see the little mouse enjoying herself swimming through the lake to get to a small white sail boat where she would feast on …crumbs of an Austrian cake…There was no limit to my imagination! I was enjoying the journey of the mouse as she was joyfully discovering her world. And this final catharsis when we all joined our voices in an endless common hum, floating in the air like a colorful satin ribbon that got swallowed up in the heart of the vocal vortex. Waouh…
Improvox; a very well named, provocative yet safe experience that invites you in a different place, a genuine and intimately personal space.
Sharing Improvox was liberating, oddly frustrating at times yet joyful and unexpectedly powerful.
Martin, thanks for the update, keep them coming. I have yet to tell
you how wonderful it was for me to do something vocally that was
completely outside my experience.
I can't express the joy it continues to give me. How warm, welcoming
and encouraging the group was. It makes singing a really new thing. I
learned more and had more fun there than I have in - well, years!
Having a very small amount of confidence in my singing, the laughter,
the encouragement were a real gift. Thank you.
"I left there feeling more alive and connected to myself than I have felt in quite some time. The experience of spontaneous music with a group of people is very spiritual for me as well as being a lot of fun."
"What a GRAND and WONDERFUL time at the Vortex!! I absolutely loved it and had the best night's sleep ever!! I went home after the Vortex and wrote another song. What inspiration!! "
"I did indeed feel deeply honored to improvise with you folks! And the
voicestra, um m m, was soul expanding. I hope we can connect more!
Thank you! "
" You all were able to catalyze the creation of a joyous musical community in such a brief time. Magic! Thank you for this gift; for reminding people of how they can bring out their voices with others in a moving, beautiful, healing fashion (a reminder we are sorely in need of these days).
" THANK YOU SO MUCH Martin, Deb, Fred, Ellen and Kathy for bringing us all together for the VORTEX yesterday... Phenomenon, I couldn't imagine DOING yesterday morning, I feel I could ORCHESTRATE this morning... I look forward to the next endeavor...
"...it isn't something I would have ordinarily have attended. But the serendipity of scheduling put it right after my session, and the sounds from inside the room sucked me in, and I had a ball."
"My words never sounded as good as when you sang them."
I heard your group a few years ago at
the Harlow Gallery, when you took phrases from the poems and
improvised music. I thought you were brilliant!
I am so glad I attended the workshop! It is unbelievably good for the soul, heart, mind, and body and world. Imagine if everyone got together in groups and sang regularly!! I do believe it would change this world!
You and Matt are so very good at what you do, welcoming , encouraging, working so well together with obvious respect and affection.