I’ve been keeping a log of my training of Kiyotsune. Probably much of it does not make much sense except to me, but I thought I would share some of them here.
- The first verse is your chance to set the pitch for the whole play.
- Kiyotsune is fairly young and educated, the pitch should not be too low and it should have a quality of smoothness and elegance.
- Start low and use the first verse to find the right ‘pitch increase range’ within one sentence of yowagin.
- It’s easier to adjust the pitch above than below.
- Even if your face is covered, remember to keep lips and cheeks relaxed while you sing.
- The chant is beautiful, be careful not to to let your mind wander too much as you listen to the ji-utai while sitting on the stool. You are the captain.
A small piece of advice for those who practice Noh utai (chant). If your teacher’s voice is that of an elderly man, it doesn’t mean that you have to sound elderly, too. What I think the student should do when imitating the teacher’s chant is grasp its ‘essence’, focusing on melody and rhythm, if possible simplifying the ornaments and embellishments that you might hear and concentrating on the core of the chant. Listen to how young actors (of the same group) chant and try understand what the link between their young voices and that of your teacher is.
Remember that imitating requires a great deal of personal commitment.