Exploring Sound

Most of us have some areas of stiffness or pain in our soul and body. This is mentioned because this exercise, although completely physical, confronts many people with either the narrowness of some of their attitudes or the stiffness of their feelings.

In this exercise we explore the use of sound. To make different sounds we need to move not only our throat, but also our trunk and even limbs in different ways.

Sounds also evoke feelings and move or exercise them. Just as many of us do not move our body outside of certain restricted and habitual gestures and actions, so also our range of sounds and feeling may be quite small. So for several minutes explore making sounds. Start by taking a full breath and letting it out noisily with an AHHHH sound. Do this until you feel it resonating in your body and change to a strong EEEEEEEEEEE sound. Then try MMMMMMMAAAAAA. If you are doing this exercise for the first time, that is sufficient for one session.

As your sound production improves though, and you begin to enjoy it, explore making all sorts of happy sounds; different sorts of laughter, proud, childish, funny, etc.; angry noises; animal and bird noises; sensual sounds; the sound of crying or sobbing; natural sounds such as wind, water, earthquakes; make the sounds of different languages and different situations such as a warriors chant, a mothers lullaby (without real words, just evocative sounds), a lover’s song, a hymn to Life, or even sounds about birth and death; and just plain nonsense noises. Don’t attempt to explore all these different types of sound at one session. Just choose one and explore it until you can feel yourself limbering up in it and getting past restricting feelings such as shyness or stupidness. Those are the walls of restriction.

If the sounds start to go in a particular direction or theme spontaneously, let it run. You have it!!

Example: A friend told me he had a discomfort in his throat that had lasted for some weeks. He had been to the doctor, fearing cancer of his throat, but had been told there was no physical problem there. So, we decided to sit together and see if we could penetrate what the discomfort was about.

I suggested he feel the discomfort and then make any sound that expressed what he felt. He slowly began to cough and moan. Gradually he began to experience emotions that led him to shout and express anger. As the feelings and anger mounted he could see what it was he was holding in his throat. He told me that his father had worked all his life at a gasworks shovelling coal to produce gas. This exposed him to excessive coal dust, and eventually he died from the lung problem this produced. So, his anger was about how a man could be used in that way in an uncaring industry. But also, as his father was dying, the doctor asked him if he should give his father an injection that would lessen his pain and that would cause him to sleep till he died. He agreed to this, but his personal pain was that he had not told his father how much he loved him before he died, and all those feelings had been blocked in his throat. So, with much crying and many declarations of love, he felt the blockage clear.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved