BREATHING & BODY SINGING
Based on his research on the voice, Dr. Subramanian has developed a wide range of exercises for voice enhancement. His voice culture programme deals with all areas of voice enhancement and his methods have proven to benefit a wide range of vocalists from different musical genres. In COMET training, the vocalist is carefully guided to gain tonal perfection, build stamina, bring speed, develop vocal flexibility, improve vocal stamina and increase voice range.
One of the uniquenesses of Dr. Subramanian’s voice culture programme is the exploration of “breathing and body singing”. Singing emphasizes good breathing. The sound produced needs to be felt deep inside. The singer needs to feel the vibrations in the body. This becomes the basis for voice culture in the COMET methodology. Even those who feel that they cannot sing at all will be empowered to sing.
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
Dr. Subramanian’s research on the vina and its potential inspired him to explore the connection between vina and the voice. Realisation of the 12 tones is a principal practice in the COMET methodology. Dr. Subramanian’s COMET methodology 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. Subramanian’s 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 good foundation in vina will bring pitch perfection and a complete understanding of the 12 svarasthanas.
Realisation of the intervals in the body and the principle of gamakas as basic tonal movements bring in the practice of yoga with respect to ‘control of breath’ and tonal positioning through breath pressure.
Sowmiya Murali shares her experience of her practice at Brhaddhvani.
EXPERIENCING TIME & TONE
Realisation of time is a crucial element often taken for granted or generally less emphasised in music pedagogy in its fullness. 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 result, such 'privileged advanced' may tend to take it lightly till such an awareness of precise time sense arises. The realisation of time is an essential fundamental practice in the COMET methodology as the pedagogy is inclusive. Breathing is related to time. The movement of time in conjunction with the tones becomes a meditative practice for anyone. The distinction between the beginner and advanced evaporates. A beginner will know the most essentials in musical practice and can build on them confidently any time.
The practice of rhythm and cross rhythms on both hands is an abstract practice emphasized in the COMET methodology. Through this practice, 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. 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.