The Challenge of Simplicity – Long Notes

The first ever Challenge of Simplicity weekend ran by Maggie took place at Melin Dolwion at the end of May 2015.

One of the first exercises practiced during the weekend was ‘long notes.’

Long notes is one of the core vocal practices we do at the mill. We try to do it every morning for an hour.

It involves dwelling within one note, exploring the different tonal qualities and sounds that can be woven from what appears to be a deceptively simple fabric.

Accompanying instruments, usually piano in our case, can deviate and wander through notes and combinations of notes.

Extract from Long Notes Exercise 23 May 2015. Recorded at the Challenge of Simplicity weekend

Handwritten notes reflecting on the Challenge of Simplicity WeekendWhile the voice can play with rhythm and intonation, it needs to remain anchored to one note until it moves incrementally up the scale.

This is done at a very slow pace, the key to this exercise is dwelling in the art of duration.

As evidenced by this extract recorded at the weekend, long notes can produce elaborate meditative voyages grounded in attentiveness.

The Challenge of Simplicity 2016

The Challenge of Simplicity was a massive success and everyone left feeling inspired and energised.

Maggie will run another Challenge of Simplicity in 2016.

As ever, all abilities are welcome, you do not have to be a musician to participate.

Contact us for more information!


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