Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Cyberspace Recitals -- "Le violette" Postponed

Dear friends of my blog,

I had been preparing the song "Le violette" this week as part of my project to Learn 24 Italian Songs in 24 Weeks, as you may know if you are one of the readers who regularly pops in to Frescamari's Practice Room just to see what's going on there.  However, I came down with a doozy of a head cold this week and it looks like I am going to have to postpone putting up this fourth of the 24 songs I am learning.

I could just go ahead and sing it today.  After all, the purpose of this project is not to perfect the pieces in one week.  This is an exercise that is to benefit my singing. To remind you, or to let newcomers know, I had read in a book about how to become a good writer that a writer who got a job at a newspaper and had to write two or three articles a day would, over a six month period, develop many skills that a writer needs, and learn to solve many problems that writers need to work out.  I had been inspired by this idea, and decided that there might be a way to rework the idea for a singer that might bring about similar benefits, and came up with the project for myself of learning the standard 24 Songs and Arias in 24 Weeks.

If you remember, the specific idea from the advice to writers that I wanted to apply to singing was that you "learn to write[sing] by writing[singing]" and "the only way to learn to write[sing] is to force yourself to produce a certain number of words[songs] on a regular basis."

The idea of the writer[singer] having to force himself to write[sing] those two or three articles[songs] a day[week] was not that he was going to be a better writer[singer] after six months, or that the writer[singer] would necessarily be writing[singing] well; the writer's[singer's] style might still be full of clutter and cliches.  But that the writer would be exercising his/her powers of putting the English language on paper [singer would be exercising powers of putting song language into the voice], gaining confidence, and identifying the most common problems.  (See my post referencing William Zinsser's book On Writing Well)

So, keeping in mind the intent of this project, and knowing that the product, at this point, does not have to be polished,  I could just go ahead and record it while singing with the remnants of my cold, provided that it does not hurt my voice.

I am going to test it out a little later today and decide whether to just go ahead and record it or wait.

(Update: 1/7/10, I still had the head cold, but the voice was serviceable the next day, so Le violette is now posted in Frescamari's Performance Space)

In the meantime, I'll let you know that my blog may be a little slow over the next week because I am going on a little trip.  I am going to bring my netbook with me, and perhaps I will get a chance to put up a post while I'm away.  I'm also planning to bring my little roll-up piano, along with my Edirol digital recorder and do a little practicing in the hotel room (Frescamari's Portable Practice Room), so perhaps I may even be able to update the practice room while away and talk a little bit about practicing singing while traveling. But it is likely that I may not have time to get stuff up on the blog until I return from my trip.

I have several blog posts in mind for the next few weeks.  For one thing, I have finished reading that book Head First: The Language of the Head Voice: A Concise Study of Learning to Sing in the Head Voice by Denes Striny, and I would like to write out my impressions of what Denes Striny has to say in the book.

Another topic I am researching a bit is that of larynx position, high, "neutral," and low and I would like to share with you what I am learning and finding.

I would also like to write out some thoughts I have about learning the language of vocal science and why I think it is worth the effort to become conversant in that terminology when you are a person who wants to talk about singing with others.

Another idea I have coming up is writing about how to manage fear as a singer. I am reading a book called  The Courage to Write: How Writer's Transcend Fear, by Ralph Keyes, and -- surprise, surprise -- I am gaining insights that apply across the board about how to work with fear in general.

So, there will be a lot of ideas being explored by Avocational Singer blog in this new year and I look forward to my return from this trip so that we may delve into them.
Follow Up 1/7/10:  I still had the head cold, but the voice was serviceable the next day, so Le violette was posted in Frescamari's Performance Space the next day, on the day she was supposed to be packing for her trip in the afternoon.)

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