A Vocal Chef de Cuisines?

One of my must-dos at the grocery store is checking out the out-of-date produce cart. It’s a great place to save money and it sparks the imagination. Yesterday I found some over-ripe tomatoes, slightly-passed cucumbers, and less-than-pretty onions. To these I added a few other ingredients to make gazpacho, a chilled tomato-cucumber-pepper summertime soup, perfect when it’s 90 degrees outside.

Cooking and singing are such similar activities. In both, one combines ingredients for a desired outcome—be it a soup or a voice quality. In Estill Voice Training, the creation of a voice quality is compared to following a recipe. The chef, (the singer), selects and combines ingredients (structures of the voice) to create the desired vocal quality. The more nuanced the ingredients in the hands of a skilled the chef, the more unique the result.

It easily relates to the concept of cuisine, “… a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, techniques, and dishes, and usually associated with a specific culture or geographic region. Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create dishes unique to a particular region.” 1

Consider the tomato-based dish I made earlier today. To the tomatoes I combined particular ingredients to yield a Spanish/Portuguese-inspired soup. Those same tomatoes could have been the base of an Indian curry or Kansas City BBQ sauce. It all has to do with the choice of and combination of the ingredients.

My own vocal training focused on the mastery of a particular voice quality or “cuisine” rather than multiple qualities. Although this approach served me well, it fell short when I became interested in cooking, vocally-speaking, in other cuisines. It has been my Estill Voice Training that has allowed me to be a chef de cuisine of multiple qualities.

If you would like to learn about the structures of the voice as well as voice qualities, please contact me.

1 from Wikipedia

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