After much delay during a busy early spring, this website is here and the blog posts and videos will start to adorn these pages! It has been a very exciting past month for me; I spent a few days in Toronto interviewing some wonderful large-voiced ladies for my first chapter of The Emerging Project, and taking in the splendor of Toronto's opera scene. I'm excited to be moving to Toronto in the fall, after spending a glorious summer at the Banff Centre working on amazing projects in tandem with Against the Grain.
Blessedly, the busy early spring was the result of lots of singing and performing! It is a strange business, this time spent singing, especially upon transitioning out of school. Going to school to study music is wonderful and has been the most enriching educational venture of my life. But, dear reader, post-secondary schooling in music does not prepare the musician for the business of being a musician. At least, not fully. It provides you with opportunities, support and, most importantly, the chance to essentially major in yourself. But outside of that, you need to take ownership of your instrument and be brave as you dare to become the master of your own disaster. This is a big part of why I wanted to start this project. I was so busy focussed on doing well in school that I realized that my success in school will not necessarily dictate my success outside of school. Success in school is a great starting point, don't get me wrong, but there are many more rungs of the ladder to ascend!
So, what exactly is the Emerging Project? Allow me to go on a bit of a tangent:
In April 2014 I was a fortunate recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities a research Council (SSHRC) Grant, under the discipline of the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canadian graduate studies branch. My original proposal for this grant was to investigate and publish a practical set of pedagogical methods for the young dramatic voice. In the interim months, my focus widened to include all emerging singers, and in doing so I hoped to assist young singers in their development and engage in practical and sustainable research in voice performance studies. By initiating dialogue, research, and pedagogical and performance-oriented solutions, I believe this gap between education and professional engagement can be overcome. In order to focus my spectrum of research, I plan to approach these issues subsequently. I will begin with an inquiry into the misnomers of the young dramatic soprano voice, including interviews and private research, which will later branch into broader issues of establishing yourself as a young artist in the 21st century. This is called "The Emerging Project."
My plan is to create a website and a first-person perspective YouTube video blog to optimize transparency in the research process. A big inspiration for how I would like the finished project to look is similar to "The Art Assignment". This website which you are currently visiting provides a base for my research to be published, as well as less formal “blog” type posts about the research process. The YouTube channel would personalize the research into a friendly, familiar medium for a larger audience, and contribute to a narrative discourse to unify the “Emerging Project.” I want to interview singers of all experience levels, teachers, coaches etc. This will begin with a series of interview questions via email/in person/over the phone (availability pending), with the possibility (subject permitting), a recorded video interview. The questions would begin at a basic level (education, basic experience etc) and branch into deeper questions, such as what is the cultural relevance of opera's narrative and where is your place in that narrative?
Transparency is my main concern. This is subjective, this is my opinion (though mightily researched and planned out!) and I want to invoke conversation. I hope that this is something you're interested in, and if so, please join me on this journey!!
All the very best, Sam
Being a Si...
November 14, 2017
For performing artists, the question "What do you do for a living?" truly resists simplicity. You get bonus points if the follow up questions are eith...