Whords of whistem

She who sharpens sheep, sheds steel wool.


There are no vocal registers

Voice teachers, typically but not always, refer to vocal registers. In the “normal” vocal register (modal) your larynx is positioned toward the back of your throat. In the so called falsetto register, the larynx is positioned toward the front.

The notion of “registers” is based on the idea that our voice breaks. It is a tautology. We say that there are vocal registers because our voice breaks. We say that our voice breaks because there are vocal registers.

If you attempt to entone a pitch that is too high, when the larynx is positioned in the back, your voice breaks. Similarly, your voice breaks if the larynx is too far forward and you try to entone a pitch that is too low.

In between falsetto and modal is the area called the passagio. Again, based on the tautology that we have vocal registers. You can entone a pitch within the passagio if the larynx is neither too far forward nor too far back.

In other words, there are no vocal registers, in order to not break you need to position your larynx correctly.

A way (not the one and only way) to avoid the first break, when singing a siren (sweeping from high to low or low to high) is to make your throat form the shape that it does when you yawn, when you reach the place where your voice will break.

Here is a clip of me doing this with the yawn tone clearly audible:


With a slight change, the voice sounds less like a yawn when in the area where my voice usually breaks:


The slight change was to not open my throat as much.

The difference in tone is more obvious when I try to speak in that area currently. That is what I am working on. But, it appears that I should be able to have essentially the same control through out the range that was thought to span falsetto and modal. Probably, the same is true for the so called whistle and bass registers.


Beautiful Euphoria,

Euphoria is not your name, I know. One of your garments is all I have seen to know you are there. It was so long ago that you visited me as an infant and you smiled when I called you by it’s name. And now, I am like a weaned child pawing at your breast, but I hope that you can lend me some of your attention and I will repay it as best I can, in a short time.

I have abused our relationship, as it is, and some of my behavior is less excusable than others. I have taken you for granted and had tantrums when you have tried to guide me away from my errors. But, I have had some realizations that have made me reevaluate my thoughts, and though they are inadequate, I ask that you consider what I say as an apology and an intention to be more considerate, if you ever visit me again.

For a long time, I have complained to myself, as if I were a lawyer testifying against you in court, that your emissarys care only about Mr. Right and that I am rented for as long as I fulfill the role to their liking. The wrong that I imagined in your students, I attributed to you. But some events have allowed me to experience this from the other side. And, I see that it is not that simple.

I have put you in an impossible situation and what I have perceived as rejection is the only reaction that you could have had. You can not change your entirety to accomodate my failings and it does not mean that you care for me less. If it were possible, it would mean that you were different entities entirely which would not fulfill my greed anyway.

You and your sisters have visited me in many forms, for which I am grateful. In early childhood, I wore gaudy symbols of adoration and celebrated a crude representation of your basest aspects, from the mind of a young boy.

In adolescence, I surprised your familiar, Cannabis, with my attention. Though I was not ready, she was pleased by the initiative and challanged me to seek her guidance and learn the hard way if she was my teacher.

My initiative was tossed aside though, and I abused her kindness, premature in my ambitions, and greedy for incidental rewards of her company. Like taking sugar from a fruit, I denied myself the nourishment she contained. She politely allowed me to stay in her company, pointing at my confidence and hinting that I should find another teacher. Though she sheltered me, she did not offer assistance, because it was only I who did not know that I could stand on my own and I would have to take the only course possible, even if there were hard knocks along the way.

As a youth, I came across one of your wayward familiars, who had suffered many horrors. Amphetamines was the name they wanted him to use in an attempt to disorient him. Deprived of sight, sound and even sensation, he lived in a nightmare and did not know who he was or where he had been before his capture. His captors presented their abomination as your brother. Mocking your wonder, he was made to prostitute himself as a teacher. Hormonal and unbalanced, I used him adding to his torment. Your familiar spoke nonsense in agony, and they electrocuted him whenever it came close to being obvious, even to me, that it was not teaching that I was hearing.

I am afraid that he is still trapped there, and I can not say where I found him. I soon came to suffer almost as much as he did. My exit was blocked and I was held against my will. After too long, a day came that a door was open and I fled, in very poor health.

But, I still did not learn to choose a different approach, to make myself ready for your presence. And, I met another of your wayward familiars. She had been a healer, specializing in aiding the most seriously ill. But, she was imprisoned and forced to apply her skills to manufacturing cheap pleasure.

Heroin was the business name she was given. Following a barker into his supposed establishment, I fell into unconsciousness. It was in no way, her intention and she would not have offered her false product as medicine, if she had not been forced.

I lay there unconscious or wandered as a somnambulist, always returning. One day, your sister came to my aid and carried me to the desert where I was left to heal myself.

The trip back from the desert took very long and I would stop in towns along the way. In one, I met another of your familiars: Alcohol.

He was friendly and loud, talking more than listening. I was reluctant, but was caught up in his raucous revery. If he had heard me talking, he would have set me right. It would have been clear that we were having different conversations, while patting each other on the back and enjoying our sillyness.

With endless hospitality, Alcohol would refuse no request. It was not in his nature to doubt his guests choices. I forgot where my trip was heading and took the town as my home. I drank no water during my entire stay and began to feel the sensations of dehydration, not recognizing that they were warnings. Delerious from thirst, I stumbled into the desert, vaguely remembering the trip I was taking.

I lay dying in the hot sun, when your sister came to my aid again and carried me all the way home.

By now, even I could see how my every attempt to meet you was ill conceived. Gone were the thrills and excitement who’s kindness I had squandered.

Your wonder is something I can not conceive of. And, though I will fail repeatedly, I want to accept what you teach me. I will not pursue you anymore. Each gift that you give me, I will ponder. With time I will be your student, content with glimpses of your image each time I surrender, allowing your brilliance in.



i am not these clumsy hands
i am not this scowling face
i am not this hulking stature
i am not these seeping glands

sown my actions won’t erase
i will live within a fracture
train my feet and soil embrace. with,
sacrament my will encase

she caressed me after birth
i pursued her in my youth. her,
perfect love unwinds my folly
through my eyes she sees her strength

i surrender my enamour
freeing you of my intention
gating me with your ascension
grace retains me as your timbre