𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, and in reality, this method raises a number of questions to be explored:
• Just how much time does one need to excel using this method? • Just what exactly is the trigger to commanding such an instinctual mechanism? • Does in-dream VE exercising interfere with the rejuvenating properties of sleep? • Just how dangerous is this exercising, anyways?
There are other questions, too. We’ll get to them when we get around to them!
（１）I believe it would take a little bit of time to wrestle with yourself during sleep. The line is a tad blurry because when you dream, you dream and are dreaming. There seems to be no way to always become cognizant during a dream because it has a way of carrying you away.
The second issue lies in the ‘want’, too: ‘Do I want to take hold of a lucid dream and shape it into an exercise?’ For the past few weeks, I have been trying my hardest to reconcile within myself the battle between decisions before slumbering: ‘Do I want to take hold of a lucid dream and turn it into an exercise?’; ‘Can you please feel like it, not just now but during the dream period too?’; ‘Will you try more than once this 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 “morning”?’
There does also appear to be a third issue and that is the limitation of an exercise cycle: one attempt consisting of the seizure of the lungs, and waking up from the feeling of such a mass of VE overcoming you. In short, there is no way to optimize the process because the feeling of such a mass of VE on your abdomen is overwhelming!
（２）I can imagine, at this point, that the need to have a functioning voice is rooted in genes (which is biology) and temperment (which is argued to be taking place after birth. The whole nature vs. nurture prototype). The question is ‘What is the trigger?’
Well I’ll say, part of the trigger is mimicry. When in the womb, there is no doubt that a fetus is subconsciously mimicking what it hears. I posit, by the time it has vocal folds, it surely is trying out its organ in its mind, during its first dream.
But what does this mean? I have my suspicions, and what I can claim to know is that a ‘subconscious’ sustained ‘utterance’ during a lucid dream promotes voice growth.
So, are you screaming, crying out, yelling, or any other synonym hypernymous to utterance? In your dream, yes, but you have to feel it, too!
（３）For this, I haven’t the slightest. There is the cycle of waking up after every attempt, and that surely gets in the way of resting.
（４）I have thought about this just a little. If, for the sake of argument, you didn’t wake up after having your breathing paralyzed, you’d certainly suffocate, but that’s common sense – and that flies in the face of biology and how we’re programmed. I suppose, if I understand sleep apnea correctly, there is the chance of something serious happening; however, that would be because of sleep apnea (something you should seek professional help for).
I do wonder what the dangers really are. We are, in fact, tapping into the very mechanism that drove the growth of our VE in the womb. What territory comes with this exploration of subconscious phenomena?
For today, I’ll leave you with this: Forever we’ll ponder and justify our behavior. Sometimes we’ll reconcile; sometimes we’ll rectify, but most times we’ll be living with regret. It has been my aim to do my best expressing my experience(s). There will be a lot of turbulence as our world goes through its changes. But there’s one thing I don’t want to regret: not contributing to society the only way I can since having my singing voice taken from me.
So then, let us open up to this new thing we call conversation, shall we?
A: I’ve been concerned about this nearly my whole life, really, because it concerned me, you see?
I was (and am) so aware of my voice. You could say I was hypersensitive to it. I always wondered how it was made and why it seemed as though I had to put so much effort into it.
I have answers to these now, but at the time… ~14-16 years old … I didn’t have a clue.
A: Yes! Well, you see, that was the most pressing thing and the most stressful aspect of it all: To think that it is possible to ‘skip’ the voice!
I was immediately put into some great state of denial by this—being there and living it in that moment. Honestly, I still am somewhat troubled by how easy it is [under the right conditions].
A: Here. I’ll record myself right now utilizing my voice in vocal fry. I’ll have to send you home with some homework though; you’ll have to learn how to vocal fry. But it’s important that we both use the same device with the same settings.
Pay attention to the volume of the hiss by the rocerder itself, and play that off the loudness of the vocal fry. Of course, pay attention to what dissimiliarity presents itself between the voice clips too!
You’ll notice something very sincerely troubling.
Now also, remember to edge between effortlessness and clean tone. Do it in one (or two or three) separate utterances: from lightest, faintest touch to solid, clean tone. And compare that with my sample.
A: Yes, that’s a state.
A: Yes, that’s a state too!
A: Yes, VE is instrumental in understanding why you can’t do it but someone else (a singer) can.
A: The truth of it is, it is impossible for someone without sufficient VE. This, too, goes for ‘adding’ ‘texture’ to what was a solid, clean tone. You know someone has great VE if they sound like the likes of Dan McCafferty.
That man was using vocal fry the whole time. Well, obviously not every phrase of every song, but often enough. Guys like Brian Johnson, too, have great VE, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 it stacks over time with every repeated use – and is reflective of the amount of effort you put into it, though I don’t knock any singer that tries to ‘hang on’ to their vocal range.
A: For personal reasons, it just doesn’t make sense to try to be as—forgive the pun—vocal about VST as I know is possible. Also, it doesn’t help that I don’t handle negative feelings very well. If, during my lifetime, the day comes when VST is ‘known’ and more accessible and more is done on the scientific playing field, I’ll have to try to avoid the comments sections on my videos; mainly because I get the shakes, and that makes me feel quite horrible.
It would be nice if I weren’t like this, but this is how it is for me. One day, I may be glad I grew into this weak, fragile psyche.
A: I hate to cut you off, but I feel like that’s about all I’m interested in being interviewed about for right now. Come back later. By then, I’ll have come up with some more answers to your ever-inquisitive questions.
Thank you, Marvin Gaye, for being a voice to be trained by. Thank you, Layne Staley, for being a voice which inspired. Thank you, Doug, for being a fine vocal coach and music producer. Thank you, nature and biology, for giving me a voice and making it next to impossible to ‘truly’ lose it.
𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, and in reality, it certainly is what we think it is.
How can I be so certain? Easy! I took hold of a dream, and while thinking I was within a song, pressed as hard as I could forward (with sustain) from the mouth. It took maybe four seconds in all before I could feel the wall that is dense VE in my gut.
How superb is that?
Of course, this wasn’t the first time I’d ever taken hold of a dream for such a cause; however, it was the first time I did so without fear.
Perhaps I wasn’t expressive enough. This sensation used to trip me right the rock candy out.
Not only did I not understand what it was, I had never settled on a diagnosis. (These two things are basically the same thing.)
Now, the irony isn’t lost on me. I feel as though I am at the end of my life, and I’ve finally discovered how to impress upon the instinctual, unconscious mind the importance of building VE.
Still, there is the sense of an accomplishment therein. An almost extraoridinary accomplishment (that no one will believe for another 100 years!)
How lucky am I? How kind am I? How extra classic am I?
When do I put a cap on VST? When will my contribution to humanity justify the suffering? I’d have to be an idiot to think my work would be done before I’m in the grave, so I’ll continue to write about it when the inspiration hits me.
And let’s not be brazen! I have thought of so many things I 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 add to all the things. The trouble is, I am of a particular personality. There are several perspectives, I feel, that are not mine to ink onto reality.
They say how revealing it is to show your hand at the end of the game. I find it frustrating to no rock candy’d end that I can’t talk about 𝘢𝘭𝘭 that ails me, but let’s be honest, if I did, I’d end up silently, stone-faced crying on the couch again, dejected … rejected, just like when Andrew refuted my proofs that year ago.
𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬; however, in reality, we don’t actually know if it is indeed what we think it is.
After years of pressing forward from the lip and craving, you’ve turned your dream into something so productive! Thinking you need more and more—great amounts of VE to be satisfied. Relish in what you’ve accomplished for a little while.
It comes in your sleep, you see?
You had a dream light enough to think within, but deep enough not to wake from, but all you desired was more VE! More!
You feel it in your solar plexus, I believe! I am struggling to recall because it is so notable, yet so delicate and visceral. Forgive me, but believe you me, there 𝐈͟𝐒 something there; and I am 50% certain this isn’t no sleep apnea! Because really, the dream and the sensation belong to each other! They correlate, I am telling you!
Picture this: An unknown street with unknown buildings. You have a history of walking down streets singing, now you are there! Now, the suffocating and so thick-as-a-wall sensation comes over you during this experience.
What else could it be? I can hold my breath! It is n͟ot accompanied by this sensation! What else could it be?
I have experienced this off and on for the past two years, and I have one request: That it not be so damn hard to manage!
I didn’t begin liking the heavy stuff until much later. I knew of AC/DC, Def Leppard’s Hysteria, ZZ Top’s ‘greatest hits’, and a smattering of other rock groups like Kim Mitchell & April Wine for the longest time. I would have been seven-ish when I first fell in love with The Backstreet Boys. It wasn’t until I was ~12 when I really took to my parents’ music collection, as aforementioned. My first introduction to metal metal was Venom’s Bloodlust.
That was really something else. I knew of Metallica’s S/T, and I do believe I knew Number of the Beast (the song). I do even find it surprising to this day that there was a time when ‘Stained Glass [sic]’ wasn’t music I was too interested in. That was all about to change, however; and it all began when I was ~15.
Yes, by the time I was 15, I was a budding music buff. Tool is metal too, right? They were my favourite band by a longshot! I had lots of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, for I had assumed ownership of both my mother’s and father’s CD collections. (Well, really that isn’t too accurate, but I don’t care to correct myself.) There was a lot of other music, obviously, but that isn’t what we’re talking about today. I had all of Tool’s albums except Salival. (I still remember when 10,000 Days came out, and they were playing Vicarious on the radio…. Yea, I really didn’t like that song. I did still rush out to grab the album though!)
Fast forward to the age of 23: I was listening to as much music as I could (still), but this time it was different! I heard Atheist—oh yea, I had all the Black Sabbath albums up until Mob Rules back in the previous paragraph too. But yea, Atheist…. 𝘔𝘢𝘯! I couldn’t believe people could make music like that. I knew Tool was pretty technical, but Atheist was fast too! By this time, I had heard quite a bit of Voivod and had certainly listened to Pyromania, On Through the Night, Holy Diver (course I had owned The Last in Line too way back when). (I am really not doing a great job at getting the timeline perfect, but whatever.)
A paragraph dedicated to Voivod
I would have been ~17 when I first heard Nothingface. That was another in-awe-of-musicianship moment. Of course, Killing Technology … Dimension Hatröss were excellent listens, and I struggled to like much off War & Pain – but I still sought out to purchase Rrröööaaarrr. (I literally couldn’t get Nothingface nor Angel Rat on CD through A&B Sound.) Clouds in my House is some amazing music. (I actually really want an Angel Rat album patch: maybe one day.)
Yea, so ~23 was when I first heard Atheist. This was about the time when I began wondering if I actually did like Venom’s Bloodlust. It was just so different from anything I had ever heard before; however, it wouldn’t be until I was 28 that I really gave Venom a listen. But with Venom came the surge of metal catalogue that came to be familiar to me, especially thanks to YouTube and Discord metal guilds.
I thank the gods a decent chunk of music publishers put music on YouTube. I have a couple decently sized playlists there (bonus points if you can find them). (This isn’t one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL7Izflqn2s&list=PLTpIRIbr6VJ8s0sXvfpO1uDSTOQE-Vj_p)
I would like to mention, I did know of a bit of alt. metal like Sevendust back when my person was ~12 years of age. Now, my favourite metal bands are as follows:
① Voivod ② Venom ③ Possessed ④ Queensrÿche ⑤ Judas Priest
It’s almost crazy to think about how much music a person can potentially listen to in their lifetime. But just metal? Kids these days can begin their lives with a helping of the heaviest stuff ever recorded. It’s almost enough to make one envious, really, though I try not to think too heavily about how much music I could have listened to, if I hadn’t spent so many years just gaming out.
Here’s a tweet for posterity: https://twitter.com/expcurtis/status/1537152865352839168. These tweets don’t mention my latest discoveries: Asunder (2003), Grime (2012), Noothgrush (1997 + 1998), Fistula (2016). Listening to Grime was the first time I’d ever been scared while listening. That was new!
Not sure what else there is to say. I listen to a varied tinge of music. Definitely more than a lot of people, but less than the other portion of people that listen to more.
Metal is life.
Note: This is by no means a comprehensive story of my metal experience.
Something among the many sweet nothings I often think about in my free time while I’m dozing off before some slumber is how a good number of advances in that or the other thing come about after so-and-so has long left the living. Is this true? I have no idea, and I don’t have any urge to find out, either. There are plenty of fun things to recite to ourselves, and as a result of propaganda, bias, ignorance, censorship, etc., we end up with various levels of comprehension, ignorance (the ironic kind), and acceptance. I think how I want. Folks who want to do the same should definitely stay on their own track. I am leaving this here as a kind of testimonial, you see? I am not interested in changing the minds of those who’re dedicated to the teachers of the past; however, one can merely glance at history and see that with time and exploration come invention and progress. I ask for a simple read-over.
… You take all that stuff you’re subjected to over the course of your lifetime, what else is there left to do in the time of a lifetime?! Think upon things when you’re old and mature enough to think and think upon more things (or the same things) when you’re young enough to still be able to think., of course!
Now, can I make sense of 2+2? Yes. Similarly, the answers I’ve sought and revelations I’ve made are just as clear. I recognize I won’t have the clearest English, but I’ll try my best. I don’t go out of my way to spread misinformation. I’d like to underline that. There are things like fact and opinion, and that’s fantastic! The latter, opinion, funnily interpreted (on some occasions). Conversely the former, tend to stay the same. And that’s the purpose of the scientific method, as an example, and all those learned people there who seek the Truth have brains in their heads. I was one of them. I dare suggest I am a learned person in one thing; though, I have not any academic background in ‘it’. But to go and then prove, whether out of curiosity, demand, or calling, that this thing and that thing does 𝘛͟𝘏͟𝘐͟𝘚 and that this thing and that thing 𝘈͟𝘓͟𝘖͟𝘕͟𝘌 does such a thing is truly both a most gratifying and a most scary thing in that very moment! Truly… ! I tasted that revelation. I bathed for just so long in the power surrendered by that insight by putting it to the test. ‘Unlimited potential’? Surely, you jest!
This paper’s creation was heavily influenced by the writings of alchemists because, in the same breath, it, too, 𝘐͟𝘚 gold before its purity has been restored. While I may not be turning lead into a precious metal, I am sharing what the other face of a coin looks like. The value of the coin is up to you the reader. Additionally, this is to be read in a passionate way and with purpose!
There exists herein an attempt to explain without accurate device readouts and statistics what is. So there, validity of happenings and good word may easily be ridiculed. There has also been some good passage of time since understandings made way for events. Some notions that will be spoken of in later publications are more recent. You will have to forgive there being no dates, nor any journal entries to quote. The loss I suffered, to me personally, was far too great to justify an in-the-name-of-science mindset at the time (and for many years into the future). I ask that those who have read this far, at the very most, scrutinize my words instead. It may be some time before others experience what I have or come out with what they have experienced (though I do believe quite firmly that I am the only person to have achieved this). Plainly, before you think to ridicule, think of a man (or woman) who has lost their arm. This person knows that they have lost their arm. For someone to say to them that they do indeed have their arm is to convince them of a falsehood. But don’t stop there! Truths can likewise be corralled in a similar fashion! Organisms eat because they need energy. Now, specifically—of the focus of this paper, it is something felt, not seen; and like hunger there, too, is no device to measure its sensation nor its intensity.
All we can do is make use of the ~70 years we spend here. While the intent is to bring attention to a phenomenon that exists in nature, I can fully appreciate Their decision to ignore or try to dispel what is described in these papers. There surely will be frustration felt amongst many groups. Perhaps technology must be advanced before these things written will be widely accepted. Only time may tell…. On the bright side, there is no one out there who is forcing you to remember this stuff yet. Of course, there is always the reality wherein nothing spectacular happens from here on out. Either way, I’m not holding my breath. This thing can just sit here collecting dust. Maybe it’s even fitting for an end like that. For something as niche as 𝘛𝘏𝘌 voice having ‘more to it’… … who really needs to consider that? Putting all these hypotheticals aside, what matters to me is that I took the time to write this. Folks can take it or leave it all as it is. Just know that Curtis experienced, documented (though it was like eight years later (originally written Nov. 25th, 2019 (21–29y/o))), and offered his mentation on the matter. Need a name (provided VST isn’t… sufficient?)? Call it ‘pseudo-voice science’ or PVS!
Understanding the full potential of the voice takes years to uncover. (At least, that’s what it took me.) In this paper, there will be an attempt to both bring awareness to one’s own voice and describe the complex, yet simple Voice Strength Theory. Everything here is taken for granted, as there is no precedent. Take what is written here as the understandings drawn from the shell of an idea from one person. No more, no less. There will be included some ideas for voice exercises to play with, though the main focus herein is to contemplate a mysterious phenomenon that resides in each of our bodies and what can be done with it.
I call it Voice Strength Theory (or VST for short). Each individual is born with their own unique voice. It has been made up by the inherited strength—voice strength (or voice energy)—your lineage granted you. It’s uncertain whether the vocal cords themselves are the reason for the uniqueness of the 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 of a person’s voice or if it is a result of the composition of their voice energy. It may very well be a combination of the two. (Personally, I find it highly likely that it is a combination of the two.) Even twins can be told apart from the sound of their voices. (They also most likely speak differently.) This is just an example, when realistically, there is some variance in the two’s voice strength (especially when the time from birth grows).
Previous generations typically have stronger voices, because it was a necessity to have a strong voice, to be heard across great distances. Nowadays, this is something only some people in certain careers or workplaces require. More on that later…. Save for a handful of industrial settings, humans in this modern age (in first-world countries) don’t require strong voices. In place of the voice (on which the rest of the animal kingdom has to rely), man has technological devices. These make communication require much less effort, thus taking away burden for our voices to carry. Here is an image of what is to come for mankind:
You are sitting at the dinner table with your family. Your voices are no longer utilized in this day and age. As a result, a device has been invented…. It is called ‘Voice-O-Matic’ …. With its help, it is possible to hear the voices of your loved ones. Let us contemplate for a moment just how small some dinner tables can be! Forget dinner tables! You’d need to carry the Voice-O-Matic with you at all times!
Evolution is the observable change in organisms over periods of time. Now take the discernable change in human voices’ power since the ’40s, let’s say, just for a quick case! Of course, there are those who can point out ‘technology has changed since the ’40s!’ Yes, but compare any actor’s voice from the ’40s to those we have now! Sure, the acting method has changed, and sure, the expectations have changed as well, but simultaneously, [man’s] voice’s power has changed. (I had originally included allusions to older recordings of singers; however, it is much easier to cherry-pick with singers’ voice’s power, and so I have left them out…. Though go ahead and compare them too, if you so desire.) Some may cry out, ‘Oh! It isn’t fair!’; but go and listen to animals in the ‘wild’ too! The disparity in voice strength to humans is unmistakable. But think about it: How else does one explain why change occurs in organisms than by surmising one thing or anothing was needed due to necessity—conditions in its environment. It’s natural selection and evolution, is it not? Humans don’t need their appendix anymore, am I right? So get rid of it! Who’s to say the same can’t be done with the voice (in a more less-rip-out-your-larynx way)?
It is understood that our vocal folds grow as we age, thus somewhat explaining the change in deepness or richness of its timbre. Let us not forget that tidbit. However, what if I were to say that that change is mainly to do with voice energy? From the time we are born to the time we are without life, the growth of this energy is constant through the force exerted on it … constantly building! The desire—striving to be heard—pushing it out. Something that you may be familiar with is the wanting-to-be-heard or wanting-to-sound-‘better’ feeling. In what calibre this behavior or motive manifests is purely a personalized matter. For parents, teachers, peers, and those hard of hearing—’They need to hear!’ or ‘I want to be heard by _!’ …. It might just ring true to you too. These are the basic thoughts behind what actions we take that drive us as individuals to behave the way we do, and this situation has become ever more dire with each new generation because of technology. (There is an elephant in the room named Eugenics, too, but let’s just keep that in our back pocket….)
LIke the heart that, throughout its lifetime, forever cycles the blood in our bodies, voice energy is always moving and compounding conditional to demand. In fact, sleep-time may be the only time when it is not actively doing anything (or perhaps doing more). It can only be speculated what voice energy does, how it behaves during the unconscious period of an animal (… with vocal folds). Perhaps it does indeed accelerate its growth, encouraged to do so from the nature of the dreams we have….
So then, from this natural growth to what all this looks like:
The first three images are of (from left to right) the spherical nature of voice energy and two images depicting one of the more common patterns that voice energy makes. Yes, this is a very incomplete depiction of voice energy patterns!
The two pairs of images on the far right are of (from top to bottom): force exerted outward from below the jaw, and the corresponding place where an airy sensation is felt in the larynx to its right, leading to a great increase of voice energy, and its counterpart which leads to a great decrease in voice energy.
Above, there is illustrated a single fragment of a single piece of a common pattern that voice energy repeats. Of course, you are not seeing anything. Really! The energy of the voice is something you feel. (Thanks to the great loss of voice energy that I sustained, I was able to gain a wholly different perspective on voice energy, of which no other has ever been privy.) It can be thought of as a large orb around the throat area. When the energy is put into motion by constant force, the effects of its rotating a.k.a. growing, may be perceived in a limited way.
𝘞𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 is what the behavior of the patterns of the voice energy is called. Without technology making some fantastic leaps, it is certainly impossible to record how complex the waves of growth are, and it will likely not ever be possible to properly document how they begin. The most anyone can do is feel them when (and how) they are felt. Plainly speaking, waves of growth are only perceivable when significant force is placed on the energy of the voice. ‘Force’ is not to be mistaken for yelling. No! Rather, by ‘force’ what is meant is the intentional use of the voice, especially when sustained. Why ‘especially when sustained’? Because, as I’ve come to learn, merely using the voice when its energy has been partially drained counts as enough force to feel your voice cycle through many states in a day.
One potential way to experience the aftereffects of the states of the waves of growth is to choose a moderately high pitch and hold that note firmly. Falsetto is probably the best way to experience changes in states. A sort of pressure in the chest may present amidst any number of other sensations. Dizziness is not uncommon, so be careful! Essentially, what you are doing is ‘suffocating the brain’ through an ‘extreme’ state created intentionally. Consciousness really has only one thing it can do under these circumstances. (I have blacked out multiple times and almost broke my fifth finger on my right hand during my misadventures, I presume by squarely landing on it.) Relating to aftereffects: enhanced vocal fry, changes to resonance, more difficulty or more ease in projecting the voice out. In any case, expect change when subjecting the voice to strenuous activity. Singers are probably most aware of the changes in their voice because states and waves of growth directly affect accessibility to ‘established’ vocal range. It should be noted, when any trait or quality in your voice appears after or during exercising, it is solely the fault of whatever state the waves of growth have settled into (provided you haven’t damaged your vocal folds in any way from yelling (something you haven’t/weren’t (been) directed to do)).
My thoughts on the validity of ‘warming up of the vocal folds’ are surrounded by great skepticisms. It is the inconspicuous nature of states that has led to their being overlooked for so long. Someone who regularly uses scales to exercise their range will undoubtedly encourage a state respective of that exercise to manifest. In the same way, someone who must push their voice out every day will have a much louder and fuller voice than others. Yes! This is exactly how unnoticeable voice energy is!
Make note throughout the day of how it is impossible to maintain the way your voice sounds at the time you wake up. In fact, conduct a small experiment yourself! Refrain from speaking until noon after waking up in the morning. Then ask yourself, ‘Does my voice sound the same as it would had I spoke upon first waking up?’ You can guess what I think you’ll notice. These are states. It is inferred that with unconsciousness comes something akin to little to zero force being placed on your voice energy. (I have experience that says otherwise, but let’s go with this for now to keep things simple.) So, essentially, from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep, there is some force, regardless of whether or not you’re speaking. I call this ‘𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦’. It is just simply more intense when speaking (for which I have no name), and even more intense when doing any kind of training like singing or voice exercises, which I call ‘𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦’.
And so, keep in mind, you’re always adding to the strength of your voice. Especially for a singer, the reality behind states and the waves of growth that make them up can be greatly frustrating; because one’s voice strength can be manipulated only so much, desires are often accompanied by high expectations. Expectations that cannot be met. Once one state has passed, voice energy is already on the move into another, being led into by waves of growth. Remember: The states of this energy are formed by the whole ‘orb’. The bigger the orb, the more densely packed the waves of growth are, leading to much longer-lasting states. ‘Richness’, ‘fullness’, ‘power’: these then come into the critic’s vocabulary. Vocal exercises are proven to work because the force transforms the state into one that is more appropriate for pitch ascent and descent. Picture vocal energy as clay in some ways: It will depress, expand, shape, and morph when force is placed upon it. Beyond this, it is ignorant of wants, because it is a natural construct. Built to last—and not particularly for the purpose of maintaining a wide vocal range definitely (though it does eventually come… ). At least most noticeably in singers, once the overall orb of voice energy has been sufficiently packed, its state must observe an even greater change. Music appreciators witness this happening through the lens of recordings of musical groups or artists whose lead singer makes use of a gradually decreasing vocal range over the span of their career. And, honestly, I am generalizing so very much too (much more than I like), but it is near impossible to explain each of the states without going through it yourself. It is unreasonable to expect the clearest depiction of this particular phenomenon by a pioneer (or perhaps it isn’t‽).
In the illustration above, there is reference to airy sensations that can be felt in the larynx region when a technique is used to force voice energy to accelerate its growth. The sensation itself is ‘airy’, though, it is also so condensed to feel sharp as it rises up. It is not painful. It is also not felt in the actual tissue of the larynx, but to its left or to its right. To explain this behavior, one may need to fully comprehend the ‘true’ shapes of the waves of growth under a microscope in their most rudimentary stages. Until technology has developed to the point where it can measure voice strength and more, we can only guess at the hidden equation that makes it all work. Prepare yourself! Should you decide to try this technique for yourself, there is one consequence so weighted, it is hard to underline it enough: While it is possible to very quickly 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸 your voice, weakening (or ‘𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨’) it 𝘐͟𝘚 attainable too! All that can be told of this technique will be available in the following section of this paper.
Surely when the people of human civilizations find more confidence in their voices through understanding and the knowledge that this golden age can bring, they will make even the animal kingdom envious. And from then on, expect voices strong and stronger than the vehicles they operate. Although there is so much to learn, the fundamentals of communication are discovered first by inspiration and empathy, and then with change. Those who use their voices a lot or are more empathetic to their voices will have their own recongnizable perspective, unlike the strangers around them. Do not take for granted what you hear in others’ voices. Listening intently, especially to singers’ voices (for those who have an affinity for music) or actors’ voices (for those who have an affinity for the stage) can be very rewarding and grant much insight. New insight, even!
𝐓͟𝐞͟𝐜͟𝐡͟𝐧͟𝐢͟𝐪͟𝐮͟𝐞 𝐚͟𝐧͟𝐝 𝐬͟𝐨͟𝐦͟𝐞 𝐭͟𝐡͟𝐞͟𝐨͟𝐫͟𝐲
So, basically, the theory behind why this works is as follows: A particular state allows the energy of the voice to ‘skip’. But first, a threshold must be crossed. There is no way to actually know how strong one’s voice must be before this technique becomes viable. All I know: It took about seven years of singing before a question of what might be possible popped into my mind. I specify how long it was because it is known that a certain voice strength IS needed. This all hinges on the power of your voice and the state that it has been pushed into. For me, I don’t know whether it was possible at an earlier time. That is completely up in the air, though I am hesitant to believe I could have done it much sooner, given the way my voice had begun to behave months leading up to the big ‘breakthrough’. So yes, there are a couple prerequisites. Among the words I use, ‘critical mass’ seems to work well for labeling the mass of the voice required enabling moments of rapidly accelerating growth.
To go about readying the voice, you’ll need to practice glottal stops while making a short, sudden utterance like ‘𝘶𝘩’. Do not edge. Make sudden utterances. I recommend listening to music, uttering to the beat or to the syllables of the singer (or whatever works well for you). Do this for up to two hours at a time for days and for months … for as long as it takes to grow your appreciation for the strength of your voice. Keep in mind, this is something to do to push the state of your voice into the right shape. I am not about to speculate how long it would take for this to push your voice energy beyond critical mass without first singing for years and years (provided you were born with roughly the same voice energy as me). And perhaps what I had mentioned would grant some great boost to potential with efficiency (you know, the part about choosing a somewhat high note and holding it for extended periods of time?).
In any case, all I know is what I did to achieve success:
• Seven years of singing nearly every day (including four- to six-hour nightly walks (no, not for the entire seven years, but it was for a long period of time), singing all the while) • Glottal stops with sudden utterances for roughly two to three months for extended periods of time • Epiphany: What if by pushing out in a straight line from the throat while uttering, something would happen? (Because it became clear that my voice was inferior in some way to the singers I was listening to) (The opening of Dirt by Alice In Chains) • Push out in a straight line from the throat while uttering once (There were a couple test-gos, which harnessed some weaker effort first.) • Sensation as described in image happens
I do believe it does take some time for the state to come about. I, personally, experienced a sort of rumbling in my chest when I was testing out the theory days leading up to 𝘵𝘩𝘦 day. A confident amount of effort is required. But you think about how long it takes to ‘warm up’ from vocal exercises…. An hour may be the minimum time necessary before ‘skipping’ is possible at all. Furthermore, these ‘grunts’, if you will, aren’t to just be done haphazardly either. You must be trying to make each uniform and the same in every way. If it is not possible to reproduce the exact same sounding utterance, then it is likely either your voice is not strong enough to skip or it hasn’t reached the right state; and feel is of the utmost importance! No doubt! It is left to intuition, for the most part, to tell you when you’re doing it right or wrong … when your voice is sufficiently strong too! Each individual utterance must be identical! Someone with too small a mass of energy making up their voice will not be able to replicate and deliver utterance after utterance in the exact same way. (I know when I began, I was not capable of doing so.)
Now, producing glottal stops alongside the utterances may sound redundant as we’re using the voice and sucking out as much potential from it as possible, yes; however, they are incredibly important to do in unison! The reason they are so essential is because they act as a guide, to stop you from placing focus too far left, right, forward, back, and/or any possible degree of constituent making up the sphere! Even with glottal stops to aid you in maintaining a center and keeping focus anchored to its origin, you WILL experience strange pains and soreness in the larynx from all the trial and error. Maybe earlier I had stated multiple hours a day for months would suit you in training to ‘skip’ voice energy. The truth: Work up to that, or at least don’t be shy about cutting a session early if you get hit by something alarming. Be patient and relaxed and don’t ever force anything through pain or soreness. That is how you injure yourself (more)! Personally, the most interesting of all the pains I’d experienced … a sharp pulling sensation near the belly button. (If I recall correctly, that meant focus was facing too far down, but be mindful! It has been years for me! This may very well not be what it was!)
A couple other things to keep in mind are that when performing the actual skip, you are pushing out solely on your voice, not air, not your neck, and certainly not any other place on your body. If this is something that is foreign to you, you either have not the strength in your voice to achieve the purpose of skipping through critical mass or you have not trained long enough. Secondly, pay attention to how much effort you are placing into these glottal stops and utterances. Little effort is harnessed! I cannot stress that enough!
I found it very helpful to have the singing of my favourite singers in my ears as all of this was going on. It served as the catalyst for my epiphany, to try to push the sound of the glottal stop out. It was from hearing the ‘impact’ (for lack of a better word) during their singing that made me wonder if the answer was so simple. It was, honestly, the very next day that I put the revelation to the test. It pretty well just feels like your voice skips out from your mouth along with the sharp, airy feeling rising up the right side of the larynx. And yes, when removing voice energy, it falls on the left side of the larynx.
Please let this also be a cautionary thing. I don’t know how to prevent the weakening of the voice other than by simply talking and/or singing normally. Don’t let the waves of growth or abrupt change of states (after a successful skip) make you think you need to change anything in the focus of your speech. In fact, I believe a great way to avoid weakening one’s voice is to do some regular voice exercises… … up and down, up and down… … just before heading inside. Something easy to help you settle down. At all costs, avoid trying to push straight out and somewhat up when in regular speech! This is how I ‘lost’ my voice! Do not repeat what I did! The reason I point this out is because the sudden change in states really confused me (amongst all the other peculiar practices I applied when speaking). I didn’t know which way was up, or down, or anything! Be confident in how it was you used to speak before taking on anything. Pressing down while speaking is not harmful! There seemed to be a sort of sweet spot that you could reach just a little-ways out during the exercising after a couple utterances. I am not talking pitch or volume! It was this spot that led me to try to speak that way, to try to reach it during regular speech. The best advice I can give is: Don’t do that! Talk regularly, and save the change in focus for when you are out exercising.
You know, I’ll admit that by putting this out there, it’ll greatly increase the risk of individuals finding success, but then succumbing to weakening their voice. Whether it’s on purpose or accident, it really doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that the effects 𝘢𝘳𝘦 permanent, or they’d may as well be seen that way. It took me six months to not be bedridden (because of depression), and then an additional couple years to no longer have to yell (and yes, I mean literally yell) to be heard. The rapid development of voice energy you experienced while you were in the womb is so fleeting (I’ve learned). In fact, I thought it impossible once you’re out and about. I have experienced it three or four times. You can expect to never be able to recover the power you once had. So don’t fool around! I speak with what is now 10 years of experience. I cannot sing even remotely close to how I used to be able to, and all because of one fateful day when I got into an argument over how 8-track tapes worked. (I was reaching for that spot while speaking, you see?) This technique is like taking nature in your hands and truly modifying it at will. Evolution in a can is not something to take lightly.
𝐐 & 𝐀
Q: I’ve been yelling like you said and nothing is happening! What am I doing wrong? A: There is no yelling in any of this. People have been yelling with all their hearts for centuries. Don’t expect something miraculous to happen doing that.
Q: What does all this mean? A: This paper explains why some people are naturally louder than others (not just explaining their loud personalities), why many people that try to sing can’t, and, by extension, why voices change the way they do as we age.
Q: Can anyone do this? A: I don’t know. Probably.
Q: Are you sure you’re not just the only person in the world with this ability to make your voice louder? A: That’s a cute thought.
Q: Is this meant to be serious? A: Yes. It was my intent to write out what I’ve come to understand (as rationally as possible) after experiencing things following extensive voice experimentation.
Q: How does this affect me? A: Think about it as you would about your car. You don’t know how the car works, but it drives around just the same. But if you want to be able to understand how the car works, you’ll read about it.
Q: Do you believe in ghosts? A: Kind of. I guess? I don’t really care. If they exist, then that’s good for them.
Q: What are your thoughts on measuring voice strength? A: I have a couple ideas. My first idea was using burps, as ridiculous as that sounds. The issue being that no burp is the same as another. A far better way would be to hear how loud someone is when they inhale and utter at the same time instead. There’s only so much anyone can do to force air in and vocalize at the same time, so it’s fairly sure to give okay results. If you’re curious, for me, I’m really quiet, and it’s really difficult to even make noise while inhaling. I remember from before all of this, I could make pretty decent sounds while inhaling…. … Not anymore.
There is also the question of vocal fry. Vocal fry is probably the best way to measure voice strength. Just ask someone to put as much effort as they can into vocal fry; see how it penetrates through walls or what-have-you.
Q: If this picks up and lots of singers and actors begin to take advantage of this, what do you think would happen? A: Well, that would be up to them, really. I have no idea what people would end up doing with 𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 potential. There might be those who want to have voices stronger than a jet engine. Others might be satisfied with just not needing a mic. I can’t help but wonder what it feels like to have a voice as strong as an elephant’s or other larger animal, as modest as that may sound. I’m sure it feels unreal, especially when the strength of a regular voice feels pretty cool in of itself.
Q: How many people do you think will read this and think it was anything worth thinking about? A: One. Me for thinking of the question in the first place.
Q: What will your later papers be about? A: More VST things. There’s a lot I think about but forget… … which I turn around and end up remembering some time later. I have three more written out, but they need about as much help as this one needed. So really, it may be quite a while before I publish any more. Don’t remind me of the times I’ve already tried talking about this stuff….
Not too many people realize just how ugly the voice can become when it is returned to a pre-birth size. I should actually amend this thought. I should be saying 𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 realizes. And 𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 has experienced this. Period. The closest anyone has ever come to returning the voice to a pre-birth size is someone with a tracheotomy. Except when the voice is still there, there is room for it to re-grow. Nonetheless, one feels like a pretender 24/7 because they 𝘢𝘳𝘦 pretending.
I am pretending all hours of the day 𝘢𝘯𝘥 whenever I engage in conversation. I am pretending that my voice is like theirs. When I’m at home, I am pretending that it doesn’t bother me that my calling was taken from me. And this is something that I believe some can show empathy through. You find a pianist who finds himself a crippled hand or a fisherman who, at the end of the world, breaks the very last fishing rod. The story has strange twists of fate too.
Would you believe a story wherein a singer not only ‘loses’ his voice, but also because of his desire to accelerate its re-growth, he destroys his back as well?
Then, what is the timeline of destroying his back? Well, back when I was 19, I injured my back in such a way to cause muscle to come loose from the spine. Years later, with the aid of meditation and experimenting with pressure during meditation, I learned that it was possible to ‘deconstruct’ the back…. That is, by adapting what I’d learned from my other various experiments with the voice, I learned you can 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘰 the muscles of the back. And it’s as simple as that! (I even made a misleading video about it and posted it on YouTube! No, it’s not there any longer.) What I have learned is invaluable, but sadly, it’s all only useful if I ever write it down and talk about it.
I have experienced the deconstruction of the back five times (if you don’t count the times I tried learning to begin from the crown of the head). What a dreadful sensation that. (By the way, I did devise a great stretching routine to try to return my back as close to normal as I could, though it took 𝘴𝘰 much time! 𝘚𝘰 much time to make even the smallest dent! I approximate three months would recover 5% – and I stretched a͟ l͟o͟t͟!)
Currently my GP doesn’t think there’s anything immediately time-sensitive for my person. Meanwhile, I’ve told him when I hang my head upside down, it sways side-to-side on its own because of how the muscles there are so tense. What I haven’t told him is, my head and neck area feels as though they’re in a constant state of stretching. This doesn’t apply when I’m standing; however, in every other position I can take, it does, i.e., sitting back in a chair, sitting straight up in a chair, laying down, … in the bath, … in the bed all leads to a sensation of stretching on the outsides of my head, and this is especially true on the left, lower side of my lip (though I do now feel it up the left side of my cheek). And when laying down, it is supremely noticeable in the back and neck too!
[I] need to tense up my neck and slowly release that tension over the course of an hour- to hour-and-one-half, because if I don’t, the stretching becomes far too intense, and that leads to the muscles running up the sides of my head hurting and sore*.
Things’ll only get worse.
It’s really kind of funny that I’ve turned up with schizophrenia. It particularly ensures that I won’t be taken seriously for a long time. I have suffered somatic delusions before – and I assure you, feeling tremors going through your brain is not pleasurable. I do however know that my thoughts are untainted. My medication that I have does make me feel very stupid and my memory has gone out the window as a result, yet I strive for the truth and recognize where I stand in the world. I have fought long and hard to maintain an awareness of reality, and I intend to keep it that way.
The fact that I have to be ginger with my head whenever I move it in any direction, the fact that my back and neck area feel utterly disgusting and uncomfortable 24/7, and the fact that doing something can lead to something happening solidifies my beliefs. These things that I’m trying to teach and have brought to show-and-tell are facts. As fact as how you can come nearly to death by catching malaria.
And yes, I am leaving one very crucial element out of this body of text. It is strategic that I leave it out; however, I have written about it in my journals. I fear the burden of knowing is too great to talk about it openly.
*I’ve left some tidbits to be discovered on my Twitter. Read, if you desire.
Small notes: y is time, dashes should be at a slight diagonal (because the process obviously isn’t instantaneous), and 3rd and 4th pieces are to do with muscle. (I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about how to represent the way muscle behaves in the back when it has detached itself from one side of the spine because it is so niche and frustrating.)