"Seeing the form without form". 

                                  Hearing the "voice without voice."

                                                      Nishida Kitaro (In: Uehara 2009)

I couldn't forget her question: "Can you sing without singing?" I couldn't find an answer.  I would have liked to tell her "Yes, of course." But something told me I needed to think it all over. I needed time to find an honest truth. I needed time to reflect. Time. Time to turn thoughts, sounds and words up-side-down. Time to move between thinking to singing to understanding. Translating her words into my own. Translating thinking-into-singing-into-understading-into-translating-into verbally responding to her question. These praxical acts would give us both a true answer. Or wouldn't they?


I took notes. I tried to gather any thoughts encountering in bodymind. Thoughts that seemed to travel much further  and faster than the question itself. Singing without singing...  I had to remind myself of the original question. Coming back into the room where only her question could enter. The framed room where singing could happed without singing.


There was no other way than to come back to what I know best. To singing. To the act of making sound. I turned to the old score that had been written by hand about four-hundred years ago. The image told me to listen for the pitch of the opening line. The codes were all waiting for being figured out and translated into sound. Translated into meaning. (This time meaning was translated from signs to sound.) The mattering process of singing from the silent page had actively been collaborating with singers many times before this specific encounter. My task was to listen the sound of the voice without voice. Listening to the vocality and its meaning-making process. Reading myself into meaning.

I set out to articulate the silent voice. The singing voice. Into lines in red. Into materialised meaning. Lines that knew the amazing experience of breating and sounding. Non-verbal knowledge about living life itself. In silence. In singing. In silent singing.

Something was telling me that an answer was hidden in the continuous act of  bodymind thinking.

In between signs and signs. What is there to be found more than time and space? 400 years? 400 years of acts and living? The signs are made to sound. So there is sound in between signs and signs. What else? Thinking? Affirming hope that sound will flow? That signs will remain signs with/out sound? Looking at the lines from 400 years ago, bodymind follows the bodymind of the hand who created the signs in the 400-year old manuscript. Imagining the translation process between that hand and the sound without sound. The thoughts encountered before the first sign was materialised on the paper. The bodymind thinking carried out in silence. The singing/thinking/writing without singing - 400 years ago.