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Apres un reve

Would you believe, this was my choice of lunchtime music today. Gerard Souzay is a premier interpreter of chansons and I am utterly charmed by this version of Apres un reve.

I’m busy preparing various piano accompaniments for a number of pieces for a concert in 2 weeks. Not that I’m worried, much. But guess where I will be spending most of my evenings? Yes, right at the piano stool yet again so that I do not embarrass myself. 😉

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A little bit of loveliness for Easter Saturday

The incomparable Marilyn Horne and Joan Sutherland singing “Mira, O Norma”. Ah, this is a wonderful duet!

And now this:

Joan Sutherland singing “Allejua” from Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate”. Ah, lovely.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Music

 

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Ow ow ow!

I lost part of a molar a week ago. Got a temporary filling today and I’m going round with a droopy mouth. I look kinda funny but that’s the price you pay. Be glad I’m not posting a photo!

It’s hard to drink from a cup, bottle or straw, I’ve discovered. I also have to go and teach singing very soon so I’d better make sure my mouth can at least help form singing vowels!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s not easy being musical

Especially when everyone’s a critic, particularly your daughter.

My DD has been doing this wah wah, stop singing, stop playing the piano, no no no! routine since she was little. Rest assured I am NOT an awful musician, I sing well and nobody knows why DD will chuck a wobbly about me playing the piano or singing.

All the same, it’s slightly reassuring to see that someone like Scott Avett gets the same treatment.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Busy weekend

I travelled with DD and my MIL to Melbourne to see The Mikado performed by Opera Australia. DD loved it!

The dear little thing sings songs from The Mikado around the house or in the car. Nothing quite like a little kid with an evil grin singing “I’ve got a little list”. She’s also fond of “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring”, especially the tra la la parts, and “Tit Willow”, and anything that has four-part harmony.

Three Little Girls from The Mikado, Opera Australia

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Music, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Am I that shallow, too?

Think about it. How often do you make a decision about a person based first upon their appearance? It takes a fraction of a second to sum up a person, to think “yes, this is a winner” or “no, this is a loser”, or “yes, this person might be my friend.”

Like many thousands of others, I have seen the performance by Susan Boyle, a talented Scottish singer, who was on the tv show Britain’s Got Talent 2009. This is the YouTube link. The reason I’m linking to this particular clip is because it includes the encouraging words of Ant and Dec (do I have their names right?), the gasps and sneers of audience members, and the plastic faces of the judges trying to not pre-judge on appearances.

Yes, Miss Boyle is not draped in haute couture or slinky lycra. Her hair hasn’t been teased by a hairdresser into the latest look. She is not exotically stunning like Penelope Cruz, and she isn’t young like Sienna Miller. But she has an inner strength to be able to perform confidently and perfectly in front of a huge, judgmental crowd and three tough judges, and she has the singing talent that makes her shine brighter than anyone else there on the day. Her voice and her demeanour have touched people, not just those who were in the theatre that day, but people all over the world.

Perhaps even though I’ve learned through years in singing, teaching, and attending eisteddfods that the most beautiful voice and the best stage presence isn’t necessarily in the prettiest or youngest package, I might have still been looking a bit surprised as Miss Boyle came on stage. Initial reactions are hard to surmount. Even if I know that larynxes, training, lungs, strength, determination, musicianship, sensitivity and practice practice practice are what counts, not to mention the guts to grab opportunities to perform when they arise. If you don’t have the gift and the training of that gift in the first place, you will be a plasticky wee girlie or lad in a pop band or an Idol show and may perhaps get well known, but that’s it.

After writing this, I came across this entry by Angela Gunn.

When I replay the video, I’m listening to Miss Boyle, but I’m watching these three plasticky judges go from condescension to surprise to bated-breath joy in under five minutes. Even Simon Cowell, that bitchy gym-ratty thing, can’t manage to do much more than grin by the end. And it feels good to see — to watch the judging stooges having a genuine experience, and to have it ourselves, and to feel that the homely-but-talented people we are all inside are being, for a few moments, less oppressed by figures of beauty.

Smart woman. Go and read her entry.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Entertainment, Music, Television

 

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It’s Music AND Lyrics, gal!

I have the theme tune for Thomas the Tank Engine going through my head at odd times: getting changed, putting out the compost, sorting recycling. The weird thing is that I can’t get the words right. I end up singing “Shunting hucks and trawling fate”.

Beth Hering’s recent post has reminded me of that show. I reckon Beth knows all the words, but my darling toddler daughter screams “No Thomas! Mummy, please! No Thomas!” whenever she hears the familiar tune. It’s Dora the Explorer and Diego all the way. I now know several verbs, nouns and short phrases in Spanish thanks to those shows. Can’t spell them but I can pronounce them.

The problem with lyrics is a longstanding one. As a singing student and later on a teacher, I couldn’t remember the blasted words for peanuts. The melody was no problem – stuck in my mind but minus the rather important words. Italian arias, English oratorios, German lieder, even my favourite Debussy and Faure songs: all were met with concrete walls when it came to learning lyrics from day one.

Nowadays the only songs I can remember are Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (oh, how true!), and Copacabana. The latter has a *very* important function. It is my talisman against earworms, a very common affliction. Out of the goodness of my heart, I’m sharing this helpful tip. If you have a tune running round in your head that you simply cannot make finish, start singing Copacabana, adding your own verses if necessary, and it will conquer the vile, unstoppable tune that previously took over your mind.

ETA: the Maimograph Machine will generate an anti-earworm tune. The one I got was She Bop, another blasted earworm!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2008 in Music

 

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