Magic Choral Trick #203 The Bloom Gesture
Been having some success with this one recently. It’s a picture drawing in the air of the shape I want for important sustained notes, or important words.
Director’s hands begin the note down at waist level, cross a bit as the note begins, then poof/bloom upward and out to the sides a little so that there’s an egg shape described in the air. Hands will end up back down where they started at the end of the note. (You could also think of the shape as two overlapping eggs – like a Venn diagram)
The benefits of this are that the singers can see the bloom on the target vowel, and that they know exactly when the sustained note should end. The closing of the egg shape is obviously where the note will finish – which I find is clearer than showing a straight line to sustain a note. It’s anybody’s guess where that line will end – and some singers inevitably give up – or grit their teeth and hang on (which definitely affects the freedom of the sound.)
The tricky part of this is that the director has to be reasonably in control of his/her limbs. Might even have to practise so that the movement is smooth, and the exact timing is clear.