Journey Into Voice - Adrienne Thomas
In a latihan, three months after I was opened, my mouth was wrenched wide and this huge sound came roaring out of it. This was the beginning of my journey into voice. Years later, I did talent testing in front of Bapak. I was sounding so strongly that I thought my whole body would explode, and I was inwardly begging for the testing to stop! It’s only now, 25 years later, that I understand that the voice can be an instrument for healing and changing. This is my work.
My intention always is that workshop participants will recognize the power of their own voice through the energy centers of their bodies, connect to their true selves, and, through the group process, come into connectedness with the universe, or God. So there are three stages that I hope we go through: Me, Us, God. I encourage participants to make sounds with guidance…lower sounds evoke the lower charkas, higher sounds the higher charkas. I guide them to stay in range but to change the note.
Often there’s resistance to the process: “I want to leave”… “I can’t make a note”…”I’m bored.” Resistance is inevitable, partly because there’s a taboo around making sounds, and partly because as sound penetrates the body and the feelings (as no other medium can) it will open pain and problems buried deep. I ask people not to get into conflict with the resistance — it’s a guardian — but to ask it to step aside.
Sound softens the body. The feelings come to life and are expressed through the voice. I ask people to keep the body soft and relaxed, to look for the strength under the sound of the pain, so that they can stay safe and connect with the energy they need to heal. We all have this energy — it’s our gift.
I ask people to trust their own voice rather than me, so that they aren’t dependent on me. I don’t want to be a guru.
Sometimes someone hits a big trauma and I help them through it personally. Most people, however, access strength they didn’t know they had. As they come into their own strength they are more confident and self-assertive and learn to trust something beyond themselves — the universe, or God.
Through sounding together we tap into the collective unconscious and have spontaneous experiences: e.g we’re all sitting round a fire in a forest. One participant was approached by a Native American who introduced her to an initiation. Others discover their animal energies — they’re a flying eagle or a black panther. They contact animal energies they can summon in their daily lives. Women particularly are made alive to Mother Earth, to the elements, the energies of Gaia.
My work comes from my latihan. It’s my true work. Plus I was working — or being guided to work — two hours a day on my voice It was like taking dictation. I wrote down everything I was shown… fifteen sound cycles, which are now the basis of my work.
I love what I do.
— Adrienne Thomas
A talented singer and writer, UK's Adrienne Thomas regularly performs the Berlin Caberet songs of Brecht and Weill, and with the band, IN BOB WE TRUST, which celebrates Bob Dyan’s music.