igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
It was the choir competition tonight.

We came joint second... out of three entries ;-p
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Tried an experiment based on something I read in an article about teaching choirboys, and to my surprise it worked. If I hold a strip of paper up right in front of my mouth when I'm practising, it doesn't flutter or lift even when I'm singing quite loudly, and in fact I can feel with my hand that there's very little 'breeze' being created.

This isn't something I'm doing consciously, so it's either a result of previous training or just a natural consequence of the energy of the exhaled breath being absorbed by the vocal cords on its way out; breathing out silently produces a much greater airflow!
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
The concert went off quite well, the main issues being that (a) I forgot part of my costume and (b) didn't leave enough time to warm up my voice before I left home -- I was assured we would be able to warm up after the safety talk at the hall, but in fact we weren't!
Both of these were largely a result of the fact that I spent the final hour before the concert working feverishly to get This Mask of Death successfully uploaded for the fanfiction.net challenge, which I'm afraid probably says something about my priorities; ultimately, I'm a writer, not a performer.

In the event I managed to sing adequately 'cold', probably due to having been doing a lot of practice in the days beforehand; this time, however, the wobble did convey itself from my knees up into my voice, and I'll never know if that was the result of inadequate preparation or the stress of being billed as a solo performer with weeks of rehearsal rather than simply stepping in to take an emergency solo after a couple of days' intensive study, as in my previous experiences.

Some surprise was caused when I turned out to be the only performer to want to sing without a microphone (I've never been expected to sing with one), with some surprise being caused to me when I was asked nonetheless to step up and perform just six inches away from the object, despite having been informed that it wasn't switched on! I honestly wasn't sure if the result was due to the hall's being extremely resonant, or to my voice getting amplified, but I was assured that the mikes weren't in fact on. In which case I dread to think what it would have sounded like with them on...
(And it's not, so far as I'm aware, that I have a particularly loud voice, so the other students clearly weren't projecting at all; a totally different technique.)

Unfortunately I turn out to look like Eddie Izzard in stage make-up ;-p
Still, I managed to get back into my old concert clothes one more time, with rather less difficulty than last time in fact. Internet tensions have an unfortunate effect on my digestion, which does have a significant effect on my waistline :-(
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Apparently I've acquired a twitch in my right eye when I sing; I've checked in a mirror, and it's true :-(

Since I can't feel it, let alone control it consciously, the only thing I can do is try to make sure no-one sees me sing in close-up :-(
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Apparently the professional musicians who were present for the Requiem a few weeks ago were asking who the unknown soloist was, and saying what a good voice I had.
Which is nice.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I've been asked to sing a last-minute solo for the Fauré Requiem on Friday. It's not musically difficult, but... two days to learn and rehearse the part for a funeral service in a full church. Eeek.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I have tonight been asked, as an emergency measure, to perform the verses to various music-hall songs this Thursday as a solo while the group that was originally supposed to be singing them joins in on the choruses — on the grounds that none of them know the tunes to the verses properly (or at all), and can't learn them in the time available.

Which is a great compliment, of course, but I don't know the tunes to the verses of half of them myself — it's like national anthems; nobody ever does — and while I've sung most of them from the sheet music at one time or another, doing so unaccompanied and with nothing more than a lyrics sheet to guide me is another matter. Fortunately in my own case I am an extremely quick study, and can probably just about learn them all before Thursday: I had an hour or so's bash at it tonight, but found on subsequent experiment in the bath that I still had distinct lacunæ in most of them.

It does, however, dawn on me that I have never in my entire career sung solo in public: to the piano for my own entertainment in private, yes, innumerable times, and as a chorus performance in concert occasionally. But my one and only experience of playing in public in recent years was that my hands shook so much my vibrato went completely out of control: if I get nerves like that it's going to sabotage my voice completely..!

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igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
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