About Diction for Singers.com
The works at Diction for Singers.com were published through their various hosts, starting in 1987 with Pst...Inc, then evolving through Caldwell Publishing Company, and now Diction for Singers.com, a subsidiary of Celumbra.
At the time of its inception, several currents were converging.
Voice science was having a hayday: from the late 1960s through this period, many new concepts and theories came into being—and nearly all of them could help singers become much more efficient and expressive. Many leading vocal pedagogues were dabbling in it, weaving in the new science with traditional methods, producing incredible results. Berton Coffin, for instance, blended acoutics theory with the practices of Enrico Caruso, one of history's famous tenors. The National Association of Teacher's of Singing began publishing articles about different ways of looking at the voice through the new science. Johan Sundberg published his seminal article on the science of the singing voice, following it with an expansive book. Much of the background material, though, was not very accessible to singers. To get the benefits, singers had to slog through tomes of mathmatical equations, charts, and visualizations of abstract blobs and lines. Many singers were left out.
Also at the same time, Joan Wall and Robert Caldwell had been experimenting with new techniques for training the voice and lighting up an audience, borrowing from voice science, drama, dance, atheletics, physiology, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, theology, and, in the last few years, neuroscience. Their focus was on the total performer, from beginners to advanced operatic singers, from their voices to their interpretations, from rehearsal techniques to details such as hand gestures or eye movements on stage. Like many singers, they probed the back story, the emotional story, the mental story, and through exploratory classes with adventuresome students, devised ways to interconnect them all through interesting and exploratory exericises. Comprehensiveness, efficiency, excellence, rewarding performances, for both the singer and the audience, guided their passionate efforts. They had a lot of fun: performances, taut with anxiety of all sorts, became intriguing explorations in excellence and expressions of rich emotion, for both beginners and advanced professionals with international careers.
Also at the same time, the film industry was giving birth to computer animation, offering new meaning to "a picture is worth a thousand words."
With the help of Joan Wall, Robert Caldwell, and many others, we decided to take the best of these forces and build a comprehensive platform for helping singers and teachers move more quickly in their quests. This platform would be modern, inclusive of all the new and intriguing advances happening both outside and inside singing, but still deeply rooted in traditional vocal pedagogy. It would work to make the difficult ideas much more accessible, pleasurable, and, especially, relevant to singing. To this end, they've produced a comprehensive library of films, software, and books that are tightly integrated and as fresh today as they were when first created. Among these works, singers can understand the acoustics of the voice in the most accessible way; learn to dig deep into a musical piece; integrate many successful approaches to singing smoothly through the range; plan, prepare, and deliver a vibrant perfomance; organize a studio. After twenty-three years, these integrated works form the backbone of the cirriculum in the world's best music schools.