According to my mother, I came into the world singing. She claims that my first cries for air weren’t cries at all, that they were far too musical. She claims I came out singing. I’ll have to take her word for it.
I do know that by the time I entered grade school I sang with great ease, freedom and had a broad range for a young guy. I was always asked by our choral directors to take lead rolls in school concerts. But, as it turned out, I was a very shy kid and the idea of standing up in front of people and singing had no appeal to me what so ever.
As I reached the age of about 10, I decided to start racing motorcycles. ( I started riding at the age of 7). I was really into racing. That’s all I wanted to do. By the time I was 15, I was a semi pro and thought that racing was what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
During the year that I was 15, I had a series of bad crashes. One, in particular, really shook me. It made me think about what I was doing and if I wanted to continue down this racing road. It was at this time that, by chance, one day as I was flipping through the channels on TV, that I stumbled across this lager that life man singing far, far better than anyone I had ever heard. That man was Luciano Pavarotti.
I couldn’t even pronounce his name or the aria he had sung (Nessun Dorma). A friend that was with me at the time, had to keep helping pronounce his name for me. After three days, I finally got his name right.
Man, I couldn’t believe it. I was smitten. That voice! That voice! That voice! How did Luciano do it!? I really became obsessed with figuring out how he did it and one way or another I was going to do it too.
With great determination, I studied every vocal book I could get my hands on. I could actually sing a high C the first time that I discovered what it was. Now, I realize, it was more of a scream than singing, but the good thing was I knew that I was a tenor, just like my hero Luciano!
My vocal studies went from books to vocal teachers and that’s when I started having problems. Now, I realize, that with my own self-study I was becoming a really technically sound singer, because I was listening to what my body wanted me to do. It was when I started with the “voice teachers” that I took about ten steps backwards, going from a tenor to a baritone and even that was a strain.
I must admit though, I learned a good life lesson at this time. We live in a strange world where we see or hear real professionals who truly excel at their craft and then we go to the people
( teachers?) that clearly cannot compare to the talented people that we admire. Then we let them teach us what they know, when they obviously don’t have the talent that we see or hear in the true professional. And we pay them money to ruin us. So with all that said, I went back to self- study (watching and listening to the pros) and started to progress again.
I also discovered there was another great tenor who was essentially self-taught ( I found that to be very inspiring) and let me tell you this guy can roar! That man is tenor Franco Corelli and when he sings it’s like there is thunder coming out of his throat! More than every other singer, it was by watching and listening to Franco that I have learned most of my vocal technique. It is a technique that allows me to sing for hours, on end, without fatigue. “Grazie tanto, Franco Corelli!”
So by the time I was in my mid- twenties, I had made up my mind I was going to be self-taught and I was going to do it the Italian way, appogio/appogiare, which means to “lean of the breath.” My voice now healed of voice teachers, I was getting choral and supporting parts in the local Canton Symphony and Cleveland opera. Some friends and I, who were frustrated because we would never get the lead rolls in the operas, (they give those parts to the tutoring professionals) started our own small opera company in Alliance, OH and we often did scenes from the grand operas that we all loved. That didn’t last too long, though, and we all went our own ways.
A few years later I was pretty much only singing in church and did that for a couple of years and then just stopped performing altogether. I didn’t stop singing, though. I enjoyed it too much and would practice singing the arias from my favorite operas just for fun. It was during this time that I discovered that I could write music. Apparently, fairly well, as the first song that I wrote was so good, according to a friend of mine, that he genuinely didn’t believe me when I told him that I had written it. I didn’t care that he didn’t believe me. I was just excited because he thought it was that good. So I wrote music for a while and discovered that I like writing modern music like rock, hard rock and ballads. And that I did, I wrote a lot. Finally, I had enough done to record it at a studio. Only problem was that it was all modern rock style and I only knew how to sing classically.
Over a couple of months, through much trial and error, I discovered that singing rock is the same as singing arias, you just use less appoggio (leaning on the breath).Now I was ready for the studio and cut my first CD under the name of ENDERA. It was a Christian rock CD that came out pretty well.
I never tried to promote that CD too much. I kind of used it to develop my own style. However, one of the songs was used in a fund raising video for a charitable organization that my family and I support. It was played in Washington, D.C. at a fund raising gala dinner with Rudolph Giuliani and Joseph Leiberman as the featured guests. I was told that the video was used in Europe for fund raising as well. All in all, I was pleased with the first CD, and thought it was cool that one of the songs made it to a video.
With this new release, Notice Me, I wanted to write it for mainstream music avenues. My goal was that the music would turn out to be not only rock, but artistic in nature. And most importantly, I wanted the music to capture the human experience….our hopes, dreams and desires; our vulnerabilities and ambitions; our loves and the fond memories of the lives that we are living. I really wanted this CD to be not about me, but all of us. Hopefully, to some degree that was accomplished.
Thanks to all.
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