Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Cyberspace Recitals - Lasciatemi Morire - The Best I Can Do

There's not too much to write about this week's selection from the Italian 24, "Lasciatemi morire."  I decided the main point of this piece is the expression of desolation.  The technical aspects were not too difficult, although the ascending line and the high note at the end is still eluding my grasp.  There wasn't a big endurance issue to contend with as some of the recent pieces have presented.

So, it seemed that it would be a good week to continue to add the element of emotional expression to the mix.  Without technique, the emotional expression becomes frustrated.  But one has to start somewhere.  Since emotional expression is married with the technique, it needs to be tended to a bit while technique is growing.  Otherwise there's an imbalance later on when a singer tries to be expressive.  It all has to grow up together, even when one has limitations.

I've kind of been putting aside a bit the emotional or artistic expression of the "24 songs" as I've gone along learning them week by week.  I think I've explained over and over again that the purpose of this little project I've embarked upon is not to produce a finished product in a week, but to gain some basic musical and vocal skills from learning and getting them into my voice.

But sometimes the expression helps the technique along a bit, so it seemed like a good week to work on that with this song, "Lasciatemi morire."  I did that by trying to get connected to the communication core in my body -- by trying to hook up that deep physical response that happens when one lets out a moan of emotion. (Frescamari's Practice Room post: "First Times Through Lasciatemi morire")

All along, I've been making about three recordings on Cyberspace Fridays, and then choosing the one that came out best.  In a live presentation, a singer doesn't have the luxury of a re-take and must go with what happened in the moment. But for the purposes of posting my project -- work in progress as it is -- I have figured I could make several recordings to choose from.

This week, I made 5 files.  I was having trouble choosing one.  It was interesting to listen to them one after another and try to decide which one to put in Frescamari's Performance Space.

I couldn't improve much from the first time through the song to the fifth.  This is an example of how we really are as good as we are on any given day.  If the singer has a performance, for example, there is probably not going to be some magical experience that is suddenly going to jack a singer up to a much higher level than the singer has achieved thus far.

But as I listened to the five files, I decided to take little notes on what I heard, and that eventually grew into this little chart:
The numbers on the chart are a rough 1-5 scale based on the best I'm able to achieve right now (5) to the farthest away I can be from how well I can do right now (1)  The numbers really are arbitrarily assigned in a way to just let me know where I think I'm not as good on the tapes.

I forgot to bring the music to "Lasciatemi morire" to my singing lesson this week, so I didn't get the outside help on this song that I usually plan to get when I'm learning these.  I think my teacher could have helped me with the high notes and the ending a bit.

Since I left out a column for "Expression" I put little "E"s by the numbers of the files. You can see that I thought the expression was the best I could do for now in all the recordings.

In the end I selected file number 3.  It seemed to have the best score.  But to tell you the truth, they all sounded pretty close to the same to me.

(FYI I have posted Files 1,2, 4 and 5 in Frescamari's Practice Room in case you are interested in checking out my evaluation.)

It made me think of how hard it must be to audition singers, or ejudicate a competition.  Once the musical moment passes, it can be hard to recall what one has heard.  It is such a live experience.  Also, comparing them by hearing them in a row is tricky.  By the time one gets to file number 5, one has forgotten what's in file number 1 and  has only the notes and numbers to go by.
To hear this week's Friday Cyberspace Recital selection, click here: Lasciatemi morire!
To hear the discarded files 1, 2, 4, and 5 in Frescamari's Practice Room, click here:  "The Ones I Didn't Use"

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