Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Every song we sing is a new song. I believe that it is humanly impossible to sing a song exactly as it was sung before.With each songful expression, there is a change, however minute, in the flow of air through the lungs and vocal chords that create a new nuances of sound.
I love to sing and I love to listen to the range of vocal music. Perhaps this has to do with my earliest years during which I would hear my father sing as he sat at the piano and banged out notes to which he raised his beautiful voice. He had cantorial, even operatic aspirations but circumstance prevented him from pursuing this kind of vocal career. It was bittersweet for me too hear him sing; on the one hand, his voice brought us such pride and pleasure; on the other, each time he sang it elicited feelings of disappointment and sadness at a career unfulfilled and aborted in its budding beginnings.
This morning I heard a beautiful voice on the radio. How wondrous I thought. Someone opens her mouth, breathes a certain way and glorious sounds soar from inside. We can understand the nature of the human voice scientifically and biologically- the exercise of certain muscles, the flow of air through the diaphragm and lungs, the vibration of vocal chords, the path of nasal openings, all contribute to the emergence of ecstatic sound. Can we analyze the sweetness, the sadness, even the sanctity of song? Are we able to fully capture the song's meaning, its gift of joy and enchantment?
I am grateful for my love of singing, for my limited ability to sing on key, to harmonize and to lift my heart in song. I am grateful for a wonderful cantor who sings sincerely and movingly, putting aside any natural desires to selfishly shine for audience approval. I am grateful for the technology of the modern age that brings these miraculous sounds into my life.
"Sing a new song.." I am grateful for the wonder of newness in every song and I am grateful to the Source of song to Whom I pray that I continue to lift up my voice in praise and thanks.

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