Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crowded singing

For the past few months I and another hundred or so students have been working on a piece by Monteverdi called "Vespro della Beata Vergine" (The Monteverdi Vespers).  It is an hour-long piece for an enormous 8-part choir or two enormous 4-part choirs, soloists and a medium-sized chamber orchestra with thirteen movements.  We had our concert tonight so it is finally finished and I am very happy that it is over and we don't have rehearsal for another week.

Why am I telling you this?  For the last two months rehearsals have been very hard to bear because of overcrowding.  It wasn't as bad as a factory farm or a Japanese subway station, but it is pretty close to it. Even during the concert, when we are expected to give our best performances, we were still squished together.  It was almost like rehearsing in a crowded setting was a practice for the crowdedness of the performance.  And instead of desks, we had to sit in black uncomfortable folding chairs so we could fit everyone in the classroom we rehearsed in.  I got especially frustrated last week when I was rehearsing with this massive choir for two hours every day.  It would be hard to find a bigger place to rehearse and perform without paying a lot of extra money, but I felt that this overcrowding negatively effected our singing.

In the last few rehearsals, which dominated my weekend (instead of, you know, having a social life or at least getting some homework done), our director and other students noticed some serious problems: bad tuning in almost every section, no facial expression, people not watching the conductor, people texting in rehearsal, tentative rhythm, people still not getting some of their pitches.  I think some of this might have been improved if people weren't packed in like sardines at the front of the church.

When we were performing, all dressed up, ready to go, if I moved my arm slightly, it would touch the person next to me, and I'd end up touching them if I leaned back.  I actually felt my back hurting a few minutes into the piece.  I also could barely see the conductor and since I was between two people, I couldn't move to be able to see him better.  By the end I was exhausted.  If you've ever been in a choir, you know how annoying all of this is.

In conclusion, I wish I had more room in choir because then I would probably sing better and not be as bored and cranky and tired.

Now I'm going to go and write some darned good fanfiction gosh darn it!

P.S. Damn it, Janet!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Posting for the hell of it

Hello there.

Not too much news.  Nothing too interesting.  But I wrote half a song today.  I wish I could show you but I currently can't.  This is new for me, because I usually just write song lyrics and never set them to music because I'm too afraid to.  But today, after playing some Sarah Harmer for fun, as usual, I wrote a sort-of song.  Well, it's not done yet, but I did a good chunk of it.  But I didn't write the words.  Perhaps that's what was holding me back.  I needed something that I didn't create in the song.  So I spontaneously pulled out a monologue I did for my Acting for Singers class and set it to music.  And I actually like what I've written.  Maybe I'll continue or finish writing the song tomorrow.  The first few lines of the monologue (by David Lindsey-Abaire) go like this:

"And what's interesting about George Washington, and most people don't know this about him, he wasn't just the father of our country, he was also the father of the first septuplets born in the United States.  Martha gave birth the seven children on October 5th, 1762.  Five of the children were very badly behaved, so they were sold into white slavery, while the two remaining, Maxwell and Hortense, drowned tragically in the Potomac while trying to retrieve their father's wooden teeth, which had fallen out of his mouth while he was beating a seagull with a canoe paddle."

The monologue is really funny.  I'm thinking I might put the whole thing to music, so it will be longer than a conventional song, but I don't really give a fuck.  Generally the better songs are like that anyway.  Ok, not always, but often.  I also wonder if I have to get some kind of permission to use David Lindsay-Abaire's text in a song if it gets performed or something.  It probably won't, so at this point I won't worry about it.

I also keep getting cool fanfiction ideas for my current stories.  I'm going to post another story on my soon.  It will be another Atlantis story, about an old coworker of Milo's named Beatrice, a university student in love with Milo, who tries to find Atlantis in Milo's honour, believing him to be dead.  I'm really excited about this story, which was actually inspired by the Imogen Heap song "The Moment I Said it."  A lot of my stories and fantasies are inspired by specific songs.  Music just says so much.  A picture is worth a thousand words, while a piece of music is worth a million words. 

What is frustrating about having crazy amounts of creativity is that I don't get my practicing and homework done.  But what am I supposed to do?  Just ignore my ideas and let them itch at me while I focus on things that aren't as exciting?  It's hard.  Creating is so addicting.

Also, me and my roomies had a cleaning party tonight.  This has happened more than once.  Yes, university students doing chores and not having a completely crappy time.  It wasn't really a party, but one of my roommates put on some Motown 60s music and soon all five of us were asking to help out.  I Windexed my mirror and a bathroom mirror, cleaned a bathroom sink and vacuumed my room.  Not really that much, but the other stuff got taken!  It was kind of fun, but I'd rather watch a movie, to tell you the truth. 

Alright.  That's more than I thought I would write.  I always have more to say than I think on here.  Goodnight, fellow bloggers and readers!