Austin — Sometimes my practice starts with only part of me present, as if I’m trailing an entourage behind me who is slow to catch up. Then, at a certain point in the 15 minutes, I notice that I am standing more solidly, more wholly, here. Today is like that.
This moment of arrival occurs about about five minutes in today, when I notice that my jaw muscles feel rigid, contracted, as if girding against something, as if posturing for production rather than exploration.
To interrupt this, as I’m singing, I shake my head left and right to jostle my jaw, to access more of its sound-forming capacity, its chops, as it were.
I start singing an actual song that somebody else wrote (a rarity in this practice for me) and focus on the sensations in my jaw. The moment I feel the slightest clench, I jostle. The loosening happens, almost imperceptibly at first, and by the end of the session my whole musculature has benefited from the leadership of this slack jaw, and I feel more a part of the music rather than a maker of it.