Korma and Legato!

4/19/2018

Chicken Korma with a Twist

Korma is generally made with a yogurt onion masala.  I used cream.  I also added macadamias and parsley for a bit of freshness, and more fat.  It’s naturally a pretty fatty dish because you deep fry the onions first, so I made sure this was my only meal yesterday. I also ate half a cauliflower to cut the richness. But, I’m going to eat twice today.  I’m playing with my feeding window lately. I feel better when I don’t eat in the evening, but my body loooooves eating late. So Ive been struggling, but, I have decided that eating late was my fat brain being stubborn.  I have also struggled to drink half of my bodyweight in ounces of water, which has resulted in slowed weight loss.  The thought of drinking 165 ounces of water was daunting. I kept my spirits high by thinking about how as I lose weight, my daily requirement for water will also decrease. We all face challenges to staying on our goals, you are not alone.  Next month we will switch from Simplicity April, to Gym Rat May.  Keep moving forward.

  • Keto Chicken Korma This gravy was insanely good!

TALK NERDY TO ME!

Moving Forward Under Tension

Legato, according to Grove Dictionary of Music: “indicates that musical notes are played or sung smoothly and connected.” Legato transcends all types of music, we are constantly working on it, and we are in awe of the masters, when they do it. But it is deeper than that.  Legato is a way of life.  It is music’s undying persistence to move forward despite being under tension. Forward momentum in my singing, and as I’m learning, in life, cannot be loose.  Nothing in singing happens by accident, everything is a deliberate choice, which as you gain skill, become more and more nuanced.

In both singing and weight loss I see people skipping the middle steps.  We check out while we are holding notes, or God forbid, in between notes, and we try to jump onto a moving train from standing still.  We get tired, our breath is loose, and escapes with tone, but more importantly, we get tight… People, but especially singers are mistaken to think that voice study is a study of sound.  It’s a study of breath, and of silence.  It’s public meditation. It is a heightened form of speech that requires more breath pressure in order to hit pitches that are out of the normal speaking range.  This requires olympic strength and control.  It also requires that the right muscles are firing at the right time.  Singing is all about coordination.  It requires a great amount of tension as well. Tension is a sorely misused word by voice teachers, and I’m grateful that I was taught that breath support, bodily pressure and legato are necessary parts of good singing, and keeping the throat open. Although, those things have come to mean so much more to me, as I have gained aptitude in my singing.

Tension to me means needing to run, even though you are moving through jello, or slowly pulling a piece of taffy until the end of a phrase, song, or opera, and is fundementally necessary to keeping your mind within a line.  We classically think of tension as a kermitty voice, or someone who can’t stop moving or rocking, or twitching while they sing. Tension, but more accurately, legato to me, means persistence while singing on the voice.  Firstly, it means intention, then living in the sound, and then breathing in at the end of the phrase, to cut off that sound.  Legato doesn’t exist without follow-through either. We can’t just stop the air, it’s like bunting in baseball, or stopping a golf swing at the ball.  It’s jarring to watch, because it invites tightness, to not only the athlete, but also the spectators.

I think we frame our thoughts in a way that undermines our values , in order to continue the status quo.  The bad habits I have in my music making, are mirrored in life.  Legato within the context of weightloss means going on, and doing the right thing under stress.  Once we face any amount of difficulty, we use it as an excuse to become distracted and eat poorly.  But, melodies are sung one note at a time, weight is lost 1 pound at a time, and just like in music, if you have had bad habits for 10 or 20 years, they will be harder to break.

A propos to that, it’s worth mentioning that your body doesn’t like to lose weight, it prefers to stay at a constant.  Everyone has had that moment where they jumped on the scale and saw they had lost 4 pounds in the night, and the following day, it’s right back to where it was, even though you ate perfectly.  This is frustrating, but keep in mind that your body is trying to get back to it’s set weight, and this is why we must live in ranges.  Over time of becoming obese, your set weight gets pushed up slowly but surely, so keep in mind that you won’t lose 100 pounds in 7 months and keep it off.

That’s why the fitness industry pushes this phrase, lifestyle change. It requires time.  There is no quick fix.  Live in the process.  If you are frustrated about weight loss, you aren’t focusing on the disease, your breath is loose.  You insulin is high! There’s a dysfunction somewhere hindering the process. Especially if you’ve been obese for 20 years, how unfair of you to think you can fix yourself in 6 months.  That’s setting yourself up for disappointment, something we fat people love to do, so that we can eat more. Learn what it’s like to be healthy, learn how to do that.  In singing, and health, we must learn to enjoy the process of slowly becoming who we are, who we have always been, and to shed the extra effort in the wrong places. I love telling my students “you are already the perfect singer, we just have to shed the habits that keep you from freely flowing!” Keep cooking, the practice room is the kitchen!  Experiment and get it right.

Chuch, Happy eating,

Gaby


Our video today features the king of Legato.  This is a clip, from an international vocal competition, that launched Luciano Pavarotti’s career in 1964.

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