Austin — I think of Sing15 as a solo practice but tonight I find an amazing band to include. As I walk out of my house, my ever-attached puppy trailing me, I head for the studio for practice. Halfway there, I pause to sit in a weathered wood chair to watch Cady explore the evening. I decide to just start singing.
Above me old oaks are waving their bare branches against the night sky, illuminated by the house lights, little moss balls looking like ornaments. A light breeze carries remnant leaves across the concrete to the grass. Cady negotiates with a moving shadow on the fence.
I start by listening and immediately hear the returned cicadas, a hissing drone hinting at the heat to come. I try to match their sound with mine, eventually finding a hiss that fits. Next I hear a siren in the distance and harmonize with its rise and fall. A plane crosses above and I find its pitch, lowering like a wail as it gains distance. At one point, I start to feel like I’m meeting new band mates and learning about each player’s sound before exerting my own. I mimic, harmonize and then hear another. Some, like the siren and plane, only last for short periods. Finally I start to sing my own part while listening to this environmental band play. I’m not conscious of constructing a part, only of seeing it arise from the listening.
I do this three times within the 15 minutes and think this is a whole awareness practice in and of itself. With each iteration, my listening feels deeper and my singing more intuitive and I feel like I’m just starting to taste what this might be. By the end I am in a connected dream and I feel the collective magic of this Austin evening.