I've recently been called "musical" by someone, which made me think... I have not really considered myself a musician, nor a singer. In my opinion, singers are people who don't just sing occasionally, but individuals who primarily entertain or amuse others with their voice, be that traditional singing or other vocalizations that are not speech, award-winning or not quite opera-ready. In much the same way, I believe that musicians are only people who primarily entertain others with their playing of instruments, whether they are drums, jaw harps or computerized synthesizers. Again, I don't distinguish here between particularly virtuous performances and crappy spoon-playing, they both count. The key here lies in the fact that it's their primary activity. Doesn't matter if you are getting paid for it or have a day job that keeps you going and you busk on the street for change afterward. If people know you for making music "all the time", you are a musician or singer.
People don't know me as that. I don't sing to people. Nor do I play an instrument in front of anyone but me. I am many things to many different folks, but not a singer. Now, if I don't consider myself a singer in the traditional sense, that would explain why I am so hesitant to label myself as throat singer or Khoomeiji. What puzzles me is why I have no quarrel telling people that I am an overtone singer... like that is somewhat lesser than just a singer... which I am not... hmmm
The whole need for labels, names and categorizations seems odd, but it's part of my life and that of many others, so I don't see a need to fight it.
I suppose, if I ever met someone whom I respected as a Khoomeiji and demonstrated my skills, I would leave it up to them to label me "beginner" or whatever they think. And that in turn, I would proclaim publicly. Alas, I have yet to sing something live to anyone with any expertise whatsoever, and I'm beginning to feel rather alone...
I feel sorta phony, like I don't belong, really, and like despite all my efforts I will never succeed in being part of a select group of individuals whom the world considers throat singers. Weird feeling, that. Sorta like deja vu, but in reverse, like it's all not real and nothing really happened despite me thinking it did.
That sounds negative, and maybe it is, however, it's these negative thoughts and the shortcomings I face that challenge me to aspire to bigger and better things, to constantly improve and grow beyond what I am now.
I am stretching my musical legs. I am learning theory and memorizing chord tables and studying how additive FM synthesizers work different from subtractive ones. I am practicing harmonies and keys, exercising my lungs and throat (for vocals) and my fingers (for keyboarding). I am experimenting with rhythms and filtering sounds dynamically to see what "clicks" with me. And it's too much. Too much at once.
I am like a nuclear chain-reaction that nobody draws power from, the water wheel that nobody harnesses to grind grains into flour. Can anyone wield me besides myself? Hmmmm
I'd like to quote Edgar Allen Poe:
"Shadows of shadows passing.
It is now 1831, and as always, I am absorbed with a delicate thought. It is how poetry has indefinite sensations, to which end, music is an essential.
Since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception, music when combined with a pleasurable idea is poetry.
Music without the idea is simply music. Without music or an intriguing idea, colour becomes pallor, man becomes carcass, home becomes catacomb,
and the dead are but for a moment motionless. "