Silly love songs

Yesterday was a very productive day practice wise. I got in about 3 hours of practice, which was great, but I could feel that my voice was a little tired today… especially since I’ve been practicing a lot today as well, around 2-2.5 hours or so.

We’re working on this new project for the singers and the guitarists in school right now. Each singer has been assigned a guitarist and together we are to work on songs that have their roots in folksongs and traditional tunes. This project will end in a concert in February, as a part of Piteå Midwinter festival. My guitarist and I are working on “Plaisir d’amour” by G. Martini and “Kärleksvals” by U.Neumann. The songs are nice, but very, very far from what I usually sing… which is part of the point with this project.

“Plaisir d’amour” is a perfectly sappy love song. Tragic, true, but sappy all the same. At least the harmonies and the melody sound sappy… the lyrics are just… sad. It is a pretty song, but as I said above, not at all what I’m used to. And it is in French… my tongue will tie itself into knots and knots while I try to untangle how to pronounce the lyrics correctly. Right now I’m butchering the French language, to put it mildly.

“Kärleksvals” is, again, quite different from what I’m used to. It is more akin to jazz than anything else and it will prove a valuable lesson for me to sing a little more “freestyle”, in lack of a better word. In this kind of song, and style of music, I should try to move away from the written rhythm a little – shorten or lengthen the notes as I see fit, rest and pause where it seems natural etc. etc. Sadly, my well organized mind is protesting loudly against this very unorthodox venture, hence why I, and my vocal coach, think that this will be a good exercise for me. The song has a -very- simple melody… but it is also -very- difficult to sing it with enough feeling that the song becomes interesting and moving, instead of just falling flat.

Today during master class we got to perform these songs in front of the group, just so that everyone could get an idea of what we’re all doing. It was fun and a lot less formal than I had imagined it. No pressure at all.

Afterwards my guitarist and I went for an interpretation session with my vocal coach, which was great. We’ll get more opportunities to work with her like this during the upcoming weeks, for which I am grateful. Musically, it’s been a good day.

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