Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Cyberspace Recitals -- Amarilli

Well, I'll tell you, I thought I was going to have to postpone another Wednesday Cyberspace Recital.  But -- and you can see that I am getting this in very late tonight -- just in the nick of time I finished "learning" Amarilli and am so happy to put it up in Frescamari's Performance Space in time to have completed my 5th week of learning 24 Italian Songs in 24 Weeks.

The big obstacle I had to face over the last couple of weeks was getting a really bad head cold.  Maybe it was even more than that, because at times I felt flu-like, but I just let it run its course.  In the midst of this cold, I took a trip to Florida, where it was absolutely freezing.  I brought my music with me, but did not really get around to working on music while I was there.

Now, here's where my trip converges a little with what is going on vocally.  Last  year, around this time, I signed up to run the Disney 1/2 marathon, which was this past weekend.  I enthusiastically began my training, but ended up with an injury.  I was very disappointed as the weeks of the injury getting worse revealed to me that I would not be able to achieve this goal I had set out to achieve, and would not be participating in the Disney 1/2 marathon after all.

I was very disappointed because I had originally planned to run this 1/2 marathon with all three of my sisters.  Facing this trip down just to watch the marathon was a little bit hard for me, because of how I was feeling.

Yet, when I got down there, I heard and saw and learned many things that caused me to understand that everything was really okay.  For one thing, chatting with people revealed that this is something that happens to athletes all the time.  They are training for a race and they develop an injury or a setback, or a sickness, and they have to "drop out" of the race.

It has even happened to my own sisters, who are veterans in the race circuit for many years.  All I have been aware of over the years, watching and admiring from afar, was their having run multiple marathons and 1/2 marathons and relay races over the years, but I found out that it took them several tries sometimes to finally get through certain races.  Each time an injury changed their plans, they took the time off to get over the injury, and then began the process of getting in shape again, and then choosing a new goal.

This is what happened to me during my 1/2 marathon training, and it is also what happened to me as I set out on my project to learn 24 Italian Arias in 24 Weeks.  I have had a setback over the past couple of weeks with illness, and now it is time to "journey back" from this cold, and rehabilitate my voice from the damage the coughing has done to the vocal cords.  Just like the runners go through their training cycles, the singers go through their cycles too.  It's all part of it.

So, on this, my first day of rehabilitation and a new singer training cycle, I have posted the next in our series, Amarilli.

I have also posted the files of the process that I used today to get Amarilli in fair enough shape to make a recording tonight.  You will hear that my singing in the morning did not appear to be what would get the job done, but a little work throughout the day, and I was able to produce something by nightfall.   That's really something for me.  It has only taken 5 weeks to learn what I need to do to get a song into my voice.  I was able to do some of that throughout the day.  I feel pretty darned good about that.
To listen to this week's Aria:  "24 Italian Arias -- Amarilli"
To hear this morning's work on Amarilli:  "The Journey Back After a Cold -- Adventures in Amarilli"
To hear it shape up in the evening:  "Amarilli in the Evening -- Diction Lesson and First Hoarse Run-Through"


  1. Well done with Amarilli, especially after a cold. It's a tough piece to begin and an even tougher one to end! Plus there's all that sustained singing within a small compass, and never more than a single beat's rest at a time throughout the piece. Not as easy as it looks on paper!

  2. Thank you, Arachne. Those single beat rests were even smaller when I had that metronome set so fast during my practicing. I was glad to find out I had the tempo wrong just for that.