Saturday, August 20, 2011

On a Personal Note from Diana Yampolsky - I CAN NOT, Seems to Be, Win This Competition, At Least Not Yet!

What do you mean by that, you may ask?

If you read at least half of written by me articles and/or blogs, you will understand that I'm not your conventional person, vocal coach or whatever other label you, my reader, or music industry people may put on me.

I've been in the music business since age 6 and yes, I'm going on my 55th year of existence. Yes, I've taught an estimated over 18,000 people, I realized a lot of people's dreams and in my younger years, I served sometimes up to 70 hours a week of teaching alone. The word "teaching" in my case cannot be translated in the conventional sense of meaning, because I don't "teach", I navigate and I engage deeply into the person at the same time to establish a connection between our beings (almost like an umbilical cord between the mother and the baby). Then and only then, I can transmit what I call the Vocal Science(TM) technique and method. I don't do useless scales, funny trills, and strange sounds, which remind of meowing and howling of cats and wolves to say the least. I take a scientific approach to voice mechanics and employ the laws of physics and geometry, as well as implement the integration and synergy between the mental, physical, emotional and vocal state. The body is the instrument and the person to whom that body belongs, is the player. My aim is to coach the potential artist on how to access all of the body parts to acquire the best sounding instrument they could possess. I need to educate these potentially, in the future, successful artists about the music part of it, and in a not very invasive fashion, as the majority of them are musically ignorant to say the least, and some of them have no clue where Middle C is located on the keyboard. However, a lot of them consider themselves songwriters, having no idea even of a music notation! So, I need to use the different language with them, for example, instead of saying that the music consists of certain intervals, i.e. major 2nd, major 3rd, triad, and etc., I have to convey to them that the music consists of certain combinations of sounds, duration and pitch, which in a nutshell, is the same thing, colloquially speaking. And yes, the song consists of all of those things, and like ballet dancers have to learn the positions of their arms and feet, the future singer needs to know and be able to analyze what his desired song consists of, to be able to access it by design and, in other words, intelligently.

If everything of the above sounds quite ordinary to you, then I might assume that my name is actually not Diana...? I'm saying that because I never heard of anybody's approach being similar to mine or working as outrageously successfully as mine.

And yes, for many years I was acknowledged of my uniqueness and my revolutionary approach to voice mechanics and to the artist as a whole. But times changed now and so have generations. The new generation is technologically polluted and very much so, technologically, and otherwise, confused. They don't know where they're coming or going, they don't know what's true or what's false. They experienced a lot of frauds, online and otherwise, and they do not believe in anything or to anybody. After almost 28 years of successful business, I've been questioned whether or not it's a scam of what I'm offering to them...?

It is extremely disheartening to hear this from the regular public, but even more so disheartening and unbelievable to realize that the music industry professionals are simply being afraid of me, i.e. instead of embracing something unique and different, which in a nutshell could produce them much more success and much more financial benefits, they simply ignore me and deny the need of somebody like me for their artists. What's even more strange is that I'm the only person who is offering non-surgical voice repair, and a lot of artists nowadays are losing their voices one by one and on an every day basis. The so called music industry professionals prefer to lose artists' performances, tours and what have you, but most of the times not to employ my services. Go figure!

My guess is that they're afraid that I might be able to show to the artists how, so to speak, "discover" a "third note" in their performances (since majority of them are singing only on two lowest possible notes) and God forbid, teach them how to sing in tune and in a real musical time, i.e. in rhythm and meter.

One of the so called prominent producers once exclaimed, "But Diana, it's too perfect!!! It has to be fresh and young" i.e. the translation of it was: off tone, off tune, off key and off time!!! However, are we surprised? Just turn on the radio and you will hear exactly that. There is no where music, in its conventional understanding, to be found. Not to mention that all of the songs are sounding the same and quite a bit plagiarized, in my opinion. That is definitely not the music I know, studied and practiced for many, many years, not to mention taught in the good old times.

So, in this instance, I would like to ask you:

"Can I win this competition?"

As of now, my answer is a big NO, UNFORTUNATELY!!!?

On a personal note, I am still hoping, deep inside, that there is at least one person that exists in this world who would be able to read not just the written words, but between the lines and feel my frustration and appreciate my bluntness, which can only be achieved when the person is very established within herself and totally believing in the skills and benefits, which she could introduce to the general public and needless to say, to the music industry at large.

What "Canada's Got Talent" is looking for! Vocally Speaking, How Does it Fit in the Show?

For a fact we know that "America's Got Talent" wants something different, unique, exciting and dangerous. So the question is, how in a real sense does the vocal performance by anyone would fit in the show structure.

My guess would be that a vocal performer for that matter has to weigh, minimum to say, 500 pounds (i.e. being morbidly obese), have leprosy disease, and preferably showing it on their face, and along with that, sing a well known cover tune with the angelic voice! It is unique alright, my reader may exclaim, but how is it dangerous? My answer would be, it fits the criteria of the show perfectly! Let me elaborate:

The performers in general are quite pleasant to look at. They usually have beautiful faces and their bodies are quite fit. They, as a rule, do not possess the contagious diseases, such as leprosy might be and usually, not looking as big as a house, so that the stage, for real, would have a danger to collapse, just like recently two stages did: one in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and the other in Indianapolis, Indiana.

So, if you possess all of those qualities, go ahead and win the competition, provided that you will survive in the process of the "unique and dangerous". Needless to say, I'm sure it's going to be extremely "exciting" for all of the parties involved.

On a personal note, I have to advise you that it is also quite dangerous to enrol yourself in any competitions like this, as the agreement you would have to sign (usually close to 20 pages and with the fine print) stipulates that all of you, including all of your organs and parts of your body, belong to the people who organize those competitions and for quite a lengthy while after the competition. So God forbid you would need any organs transplant, you may not be allowed to do so (lol).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pick Two Notes You Can Reach in the Lowest Possible Range and Quite Possibly it Will Become a Hit...

But... Hurry up! Somebody like Katy Perry might accidentally discover the third note (ha?).

Also, somebody who stutters naturally may also get ahead of you, as stuttering, while singing, seems to be very much so in fashion nowadays. Firstly, you can never differentiate one singer from another. Only by the amount of stuttering and by the amount of notes they have discovered right before the performance. Some of them are sounding like they're sitting on the toilet and having difficulties to relieve themselves.

My question is, has the real music gone down to the toilet? Evidently and unfortunately, it might be the case.

The positive side of it, though, may be beneficial for people like me... The dieters, i.e. those who are forever coping and fighting with their weight fluctuations. On one hand, while listening to the stuttered and constipated so called music, you can definitely lose your appetite, even if originally you were very hungry and did not eat for a couple of days, trying to lose weight. On the other hand, if you did not lose your appetite, you will definitely bring up everything which you've just eaten right before the "stuttering hit" came on the radio. So it's all good for people with weight problems. It's also good for the deaf, since they cannot hear at all or the particulars anyways, they might visualize that there is something actually going on in the music business now and at least hope that those who hear are having the pleasure of listening.

For the rest of the population, it also could be good, as it's giving anybody with a speech impediment and tone deafness a hope that one day, some day, they will become famous while reciting the two or maybe even three notes hit with stuttering in between. All of that on the lowest and most monotone range takes approximately three and a half to four minutes, which is enough to pass for the song.

How pathetic is that?

Jokes aside, will we ever be able to return back to a normal (stressed normal) pleasurable for the ear and respectively, heart and the soul, music? We're positively missing those days where the artists like Elvis and bands like the Beatles and Platters were recording off the floor and we were hearing the exact melody line, the perfect music arrangements and pleasant singing to fulfill our beings.

How much more stuttering and "electronic defecation" can this world tolerate? This is a three dollar question. However, the real question is, is it worth a penny?



Saturday, August 6, 2011

I've Been Often Asked About What I Do for a Living. My Recent Answer is "Vocally Speaking, I'm Teaching Hippopotamuses How to Fly".

What do you mean by that, my reader may be wondering? I mean quite a lot of things, stating that claim. Let me share with you my experience.

I am Russian and in the Russian language, we have a proverb that the "One born crawling will never fly". By the law of averages, this is a legitimate statement. Can we visualize a hippopotamus, camel or elephant for that matter, flying? Highly unlikely! But in the human kind, it's happening all the time. People who have no musical or vocal talents and who do not even possess any kind of a reasonable look, which could identify them with a performing artist, are wanting it by far more than people who actually do have all the components. That brings us to another question. Do we always want what we don't have? By the looks of things, the answer is yes.

Moreover, those who do have what it takes, for some reason, even if they want to utilize their talents, think that they have enough to get discovered and be offered, minimum to say, million dollar record deals. Lately, they almost become offended if they're offered help with respect of polishing their skills and making their skills to be more likely acquired by the music industry at large. They also think that whatever they don't have they can obtain online or sometimes they're willing to receive a home study course. They figure that voice, just like a guitar or piano, where both of which could be somewhat learned via home study or even online in a general sense, could be perfected as well. The voice though, requires the tedious instruction on how to take that "diamond" and turn it from the "diamond in the rough" into the polished and shiny "diamond in a frame".

Those, however, who could not dream in a million years about any fame or glamour, as they simply weren't born to do so, are willing to put any effort, supported by any money to achieve not always achievable goals. To God's and my credit though, if I could say so myself, with the gift from Him, the Creator of Vocal Science, I was able to realize those people's dreams. I discovered and uncovered their originally non-existent talents and voices and made them shine as if they were always present. I'm very proud and very grateful to God that against all odds, I'm perfectly able to enhance people's dreams and while working next to God, give them and their future audiences the gift of singing.

Vocal Coma So to Speak
A Near-Death Vocal Experience...?

I've been teaching vocals forever and close to four decades now. But never have I experienced such difficulty to deliver my Vocal Science method to people who claim that, minimum to say, they want to learn how to sing properly. Simply speaking, in my opinion, they are hardly possessing any vital signs, at least during the first 5 - 6 hours of instruction. My guess is that the people who are in an actual medical coma have more vital signs than my so called up and coming artists. How sad is that?

Figuratively speaking, it brings me near the "heart attack" to wake them up and instill some substance, first into their brains and then, if I'm lucky, activate their motor skills, which the majority of them are not possessing at all. In other words, to walk and chew the gum at the same time would be a great challenge for my "troubled" students.

The Vocal Science method requires the integration and synergy between mental, physical, emotional and finally, vocal state. To get to that vocal state I need to invent a "vocal-fibrilator" and not only for the client, but for myself as well (would be funny if it wasn't so sad). I, evidently, am not getting any younger and due to that factor, it's becoming harder and harder and almost nearly impossible...?

My vocal session with the student used to consist of minimum to say, five parts. The first part would contain the speech exercises, which establish the foundation for the "vocal house" so to speak, to be built in the later stages. The first exercise is to count to five with the proper placement and projection. For some people, it takes about an hour...? How so, you may ask? It requires also the movement of their feet and arms, and to coordinate all of that together, for the majority of the population, IS NOT POSSIBLE, or at least NO LONGER POSSIBLE. THAT'S TOO MUCH TO ASK, they say. They're accustomed all day to sit at the computer or play electronic games on their phones. "You mean you want me to walk and talk at the same time, let alone sing?!" they exclaim. They're so confused and scared and perhaps even more scared than if I were to ask them to climb Mount Everest or to swim across Lake Ontario as one of the teenagers is doing as we speak and all for the good cause. Way to go! Maybe, after she does, I should inquire if she wants to learn how to sing now, as maybe, (stress maybe) she actually will be able to coordinate some movements with her voice and not only apply her motor skills in relation with the water. It's good to know that somebody still actually's got it.

In a real sense, how pathetic is that? Just even five or ten years ago, nothing like this was a problem or even a concern. In fact, I was able to do speech exercises, singing exercises, reading of the song in proper syllables and singing of the song while concurrently video taping the performance in only 75 minutes increments. And at that time, with absolute certainty I could say, "Beginner to Pro Singer in 10 Hours, Guaranteed!" Very outrageous claim, but I have numerous of artists who I produced then in 10 hours, i.e. Raine of Our Lady Peace (Sony), Alex Norman of Ill Scarlet (Sony), Brian Melo - Canadian Idol of 2007,  Lukas Rossi - winner of Rock Star Supernova television show, Brian Pisani - One second Too Late (Sony), and Trish Campbell (EMI), just to name a few.

Now, my presumption is that to produce somebody of their calibre, I would need minimum 30 - 50 hours, if I'm lucky! And now I'm running my sessions in 2 hour increments and still not accomplishing all of the components I used to accomplish in 75 minutes. What does it tell you?: The world's gone crazy and getting crazier by the second. The world's evidently gone deaf, as they're worshiping the ground of the artists who cannot "carry a tune in a bucket" and some of them cannot sing to "save their lives". The people, in a manner of speaking, are physically disabled and cannot perform even simple tasks, which require coordination. Therefore, when instead of singing they're watching a live video on stage with non-identifiable gender dancers, they're completely amused, as these people could dance and even "lip sync" at the same time. Britney Spears once exclaimed, "Oops. My microphone was accidentally on." That should have come to us as an absolute warning, as it took place some time ago, when some normalcy and some human vital signs were still present. She definitely was a pioneer in planting the seed and now the flowers of her labour are in a full bloom!

In 1994 the Brampton Guardian newspaper wrote an article about me, which was called "Voice Coach Teaches A Mind Over Vocal Cords Philosophy". That was then and today the minds are somewhat present (due to the 24 hour invasion of the internet), the bodies are present very remotely and the interconnection between the latter and the former, hardly exists or fluctuates like electrical short circuits with strong activation from my part. So go figure! 

Is there a solution? I'm not quite sure about it. As the more technology being introduced, the less brain and body cells are being present and being active. Where are we all going? Hopefully, not to the end of the world, but, however, it is quite probable and might not necessarily be a bad thing.