BREATHING & BODY SINGING
Drawing from his extensive research on the voice, Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian has developed a comprehensive voice culture program, encompassing a wide array of exercises to enhance vocal abilities. This program addresses all aspects of voice enhancement and has proven beneficial to vocalists across diverse musical genres.
In the COMET training, vocalists receive careful guidance to achieve tonal perfection, build stamina, increase speed, develop vocal flexibility, improve vocal endurance, and expand their voice range. One of the distinctive features of Dr. KSS' voice culture program is the exploration of "breathing and body singing." Emphasizing the importance of good breathing, the focus lies on feeling the sound deep within the body, allowing the singer to sense the vibrations within. This forms the foundation of voice culture in the COMET methodology. Remarkably, even those who believe they lack singing abilities can experience significant empowerment and progress through this program.
Increasing voice range: A demonstration of how Sudha Harikrishnan developed a 3.5 octave vocal range through “body singing”
Song and singing are different. Singing reveals process. Song is the product.
VINA & VOICE
In the COMET methodology, the realisation of the 12 tones stands as a central practice. COMET explores the realisation of the 12 tones as a principle of embedding vina into the body. Vina and voice become complementary for a fuller realisation of tones and tonal movement (gamakas).
The structure of vina is akin to human body: the 24 frets on the vina represent the 24 vertebrae in the human body. The uniqueness of Dr. KSS' approach is anchoring the 12 tones in the different body chakras by visualizing the vina in the body. Conscious tonal placement in the body in different chakra brings certainty in locating the 12 tonal positions. The ability to locate the 12 tonal positions and produce them at will is essential for a complete understanding of any melodic movement. A solid foundation in vina will bring pitch perfection and a complete understanding of the 12 svarasthanas.
Furthermore, the realisation of intervals in the body and the principle of gamakas as fundamental tonal movements integrate the practice of yoga, particularly in terms of breath control and precise tonal positioning through the required breath pressure.
Sowmiya Murali shares her experience of her practice at Brhaddhvani.
EXPERIENCING TIME & TONE
Realizing the concept of time is a critical element often overlooked or not fully emphasized in music pedagogy. For a sheer novice it is a little too much and for the 'privileged advanced' it might seem insignificant for emphasis at the beginning level. The latter may tend to take it lightly till such an awareness of precise time sense arises.
Embracing an inclusive approach, the realisation of time is an essential fundamental practice in the COMET methodology. Breathing is related to time. The movement of time in conjunction with the tones becomes a meditative practice. The distinction between the beginner and advanced evaporates. Beginners grasp the essential aspects of musical practice, empowering them to build confidence and progress at their own pace.
The practice of rhythm and cross rhythms on both hands is an abstract practice emphasized in the COMET methodology. This abstract exercise enables students to synchronize their minds and bodies, and singing or playing along with this practice adds another dimension to understanding time and melody. This highly challenging practice as a foundation brings another dimension to creativity. This practice strengthens the power of attention to details in coordinating mind, melody and rhythm.
Three Dimensional Musical Experience - Ambidextrous exercise: Two different talas on two hands and singing on the top. Mind-body coordination as musical practice is a valuable experience. These exercises connect other Arts and sharpen multidimensional cognition.
Through the practice of rhythm and cross rhythms, the student learns to coordinate mind and body. Singing or playing along with this practice brings another dimension to realising time and melody. This highly challenging practice as a foundation brings another dimension to creativity.