Rhiannon, that path-breaking teacher of vocal improvisation, is the inspiration for this week’s prompt. She recently shared with her students this intriguing passage from a book called Becoming Animal by David Abram:
“We’ve largely forgotten the incantatory and invocational use of speech as a way of bringing ourselves into deeper rapport with the beings around us … We talk about … the weather and the weathered stones, but we do not talk to them. How monotonous our speaking becomes when we speak only to ourselves! And how insulting to the other beings—to foraging black bears and twisted old cypresses—that no longer sense us talking to them, but only about them, as though they were not present in our world.”
This seems like a powerful concept to us. So this week, your prompt is to find a non-human thing near you—an animal or plant, or any old thing that’s lying around in your house—and sing directly to it, as if it could really hear you.
Don’t try to find the perfect thing. Just scan your surroundings and settle on the first thing that draws your attention. And then sing to it — a prayer, perhaps, or just a hello.
(If you’d like a little inspiration, here is what happened when Jascha’s eyes fell on a frame drum on the wall.)
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing for two minutes.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, September 21, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about the time it takes to talk to .
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-thing]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-thing” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “SSS Prompt 34: Sing to a thing.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!