What is The Singing Soul?
A Swingin' Swayin' Funk Bump Afro Gospel Sacred Soulful Blues Chant Jam Feelin' Hi Mash-up!!
Humming a tune while washing the dishes...tapping out a rhythm on the steering wheel...wanting to hear a certain kind of song to suit our mood...emotional surges and absent minded creative moments. What happens when a space is made for conscious improvisation, grounded in the body and carried by the voice? Magic! We are moved by the preciousness of our own music, our own stories, perhaps for the first time.
The Singing Soul is a creative and powerful way of improvised music making and of being alive in the world. Join in and raise your voice in joyous a cappella grooves of our own making. Experience both non-conventional and conventional uses of the human voice in the co-creation of authentic musical expressions of the moment. WE are the instruments in a musical journey of spontaneous self-expression and collaboration with others. Improvisation is an expression, a necessity, a liberation, and a homecoming.
The Singing Soul is spontaneous, in-the-moment singing; the unveiling of our very uniqueness in melody, harmony, and rhythm…our stories, in words, and beyond them. By turns edgy, hilarious, challenging, and deeply moving, each moment is an original composition that is unrehearsed, precious, and irreplaceable. And as fate would have it, it’s also profoundly fun! There are no wrong notes and there’s nothing to memorize, just breathe and sing….ahh.
The Singing Soul is for those who are ready to let go of “getting it right” and are ready to embrace letting it just happen. Unrehearsed singing evokes the genuine and soulful voice. You’ll strengthen your abilities as a vocal musician in creating melodies and harmonies, laying down vocal percussion grooves and bass lines, and gelling with others in creating freewheeling counterpoint that just begs a soloist - then becoming that too! Experience new roles and genres in your music-making. Improvised movement and free-form writing will expand your sense of possibilities. The synergy of improvisation inspires and empowers as singers discover utterly new terrain vocally, musically, and expressively.
For CBC radio stories on The Singing Soul click here.
What happens in a Singing Soul workshop?
Sessions begin with physical and vocal warming, improv style! A wide variety of clearly outlined structures are offered, for the full group, small groups, duets and soloing; each of which generates different experiences and outcomes. Sessions are punctuated with pauses to process our learnings together. The Singing Soul explores two primary foundations:
The intuitive skills of the improviser: The architecture of music:
listening…listening…listening constructing melody and harmony
presence vocal percussion & bass lines
acceptance of not knowing creating diverse musical genres
trusting and working with intuition composing counterpoint
leadership and followership creating and using lyrics
relational awareness and intelligence ensemble singing & soloing
David is a shining example of finding his unique path and living in service to that path. He has a twenty year career facilitating workshops that guide people to their source including gatherings around the planet on the subject of vocal improvisation. David studied with me a bundle of years ago and then took that information into his heart and fueled it with his own life wisdom. I love that. It is the core truth of improvisation that each person must find their own path, remembering the essence of presence—every moment. Bless you David for traveling and singing, for teaching and giving so generously your gifts of honest, skilled, heartfelt, personal truth. ~ Rhiannon
Improvisation itself is a master teacher. It is a life skill…an antenna that reveals how each moment holds a hundred possibilities, and how to access them in realizing the wealth of our creative intuition. New discoveries in science tell us that chaos and change are the only routes to transformation, and that relationships are what matters, even at the subatomic level. The conscious study of collaborative improvisation is a wise response. Those with improvisational abilities have significant leadership value to add to processes of creative problem solving, addressing issues of scarcity, difficult conversations, community building, and the transformation of conflict. Singers of all levels are welcome. Ready...?
David studied intensively with vocal improvisation master teacher Rhiannon from 1996 to 1999, and continues to be deeply grateful for her teaching and inspiration. He was the founder of the improv choir House of Song and his music experience includes percussion, bass and guitar, and ranges from street performing to off-Broadway, from fully choreographed to fully improvised. David has taught The Singing Soul since 1997 across Canada and internationally in China, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States. David holds an associates degree in music from Vancouver Community College where he was awarded the Jack Cullen Scholarship for Contemporary Voice. He has won numerous music scholarships including trainings at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Simon Fraser University.
Excerpt from a duet featuring David Hatfield and percussionist Robin Reid:
Excerpts from group improvisations conducted by David Hatfield:
The Singing Soul Instruction/Performance highlights include:
- Albacete Association of Educators - Spain
- Association of BC Drama Educators
- Association of Canadian Choral Conductors
- Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation - Vancouver
- Citystudio - Vancouver
- City Soul Choir - Vancouver
- Common Threads Choir - Toronto
- Festival of Voices - Smithers, BC
- Gala Opening of Cirque du Soleil - Vancouver
- Global Voices Choir, A Cappellago Choir - New Zealand
- Heart Politics Conference and Get Off the Concrete Men's Gathering - New Zealand
- House of I - China
- Learning Love International Conference - University of British Columbia
- M'Girl - Aborignal Emsemble - Vancouver
- Music Care Conference - Vancouver
- Power of Hope - Canada and USA
- Sarah McLaughlin Outreach Choir
- Songroots Music Camp - BC
- Schwelle 7 - Berlin, Germany
- The Haven
- The Muse Community Music Trust - New Zealand
- The Naramata Centre
- THNK Leadership
- United Church of Canada - LEAD 2004 Conference - Banff Centre for the Arts
- Vancouver Actors' Chorus
- 20 irreplaceable minutes jammin' backstage with Bobby McFerrin