Posts tagged singing

Songwriting… and what it’s NOT

In one of the songs i was asked to write, the lyrics were as follows: “I wanna go where the peaches hang low, the green grass grow and the sweet streams flow”.  Now lyrics evoke emotions correct?  So the starting point to songwriting is the emotional content.  What then are the feelings of the aforementioned lines?  Well… they speak of the country – peaches, grass and streams.  When you think back to the age of innocence, what does that sound like?  How does one put musical notes to feelings? Well you can eliminate what it WON’T sound like.  Almost like the sculpter with a block of marble, you chistle away the unwanted to retain the wanted.  So things it won’t be: fast, driving, electric.  The country sounds more simple, unhurried and uncomplicated.  Due to the nature of this show, the 3rd world countries are more organic, more home-grown.  And so to me, it expressed almost gospel-type choral parts.

So this musical clip is 1st rehearsal (in other words… don’t be critical hahaa) and it’s also a capella – so no instrumentation.  But it has that feel i heard in my head.  Enjoy!

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When You’re Smiling the Whole World Smiles With You

Piano strings

Piano strings

I don’t know why i was chosen, but i was the ‘lucky’ canditate to have been called to tune a piano recently.  I have to say though that this was no ordinary piano;  this one was better part of a 100 years old.  I touched my hands to the keys.  What came out sounded like a steamship!  I politely asked the elderly lady “Sooooo….when did you have it tuned last?”  “Well” she replied “my husband passed away 3 years ago and we had been married for 53 years and never had it tuned”  OH MY! i’m thinking to myself (thus i’m the ‘lucky’ one who gets to deal with this..lol).  She was a sweet older lady but the piano sounded simply bad – it sounded DULL.  Many people do not know that piano wire comes in about 24 different sizes for the treble.  Each size is about a paper thickness different.  What’s interesting to note – quite often if a piano is not ‘up to pitch’ – meaning that the instrument is not tuned for the frequency it was designed for, it sounds lackluster.  Each note on the piano was designed for a certain gauge of wire.  If the pitch doesn’t match the guage,  it sounds simply dull.  There’s no sparkle.  In my mind i hear the vowel sound “oh”, but in tune it quite quickly turns it into an “ee” – just like a smile.  You see… pianos can smile!  Take that out of tune instrument and with a bit of work it is transformed into a singing, resonating piano.  So before you pass judgement on a piano always remember:  it won’t shine until it’s in tune.  Oh and BTW, that old piano, after tuning the lady remarked “I’ve never heard that piano sound so good!”  “Yep… that’s because it’s smiling” :)

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