Friends of this blog know I have taken voice lessons for 7 years and twice a year we have a recital (one at Christmas, one in May). At first I dreaded the recitals but they became something I enjoyed, something I was actually kind of good at. I’m not the greatest singer in the world but I think I’m a pretty good performer. If I was a better dancer I could probably get a part in a show (something I would love to do one of these days)
Anyway, after 7 years you start to get a little bored doing the broadway cannon of songs and I’ve branched out to Jazz (At Last), Pop (Gravity), Standards (Over the Rainbow, Moon River), and Christian Pop (Blessings).
What I had never done is try to sing acapella. Always looking for a challenge I decided to give it a go. I happened to be talking with a girl on twitter about songs that might be interesting acoustically and I suggested Billy Joel’s The Longest Time, which has been a favorite song of mine for many years. When I was in college a girl had a guy serenade her with the song and I thought it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. (hint, hint boys!).
As I was talking about it I realized it would be the perfect song to attempt acapella because it was written as a du-wop acapella song. I worked on it and honestly memorizing it was the hardest part because the verses were easily to jumble together. I had it together to surprise people at master class in April and then worked on it some more in May.
I went on my trip and all the sudden started to feel nervous that I would mess things up. I even messaged my teacher to see if I should sing Be Still My Soul which I had just performed. She encouraged me to stick with Longest Time and so I practiced as much as I could and came up with a little percussion using a jar and spoon to help me with the song (and made it sort of a vacation feel I thought).
I was oddly not as nervous as I could stop and start, change things around if I had too. Acapella may be the improv of singing!
Well, this is how it turned out. Unfortunately the video doesn’t ever show my face (stupid on my part on who I asked to film and where they were seated). So just listen and enjoy.
I’m not a professional singer by any means. It is just for fun so don’t be too hard on me. Hope you enjoy it!
So I just realized I haven’t updated the blog for a week. Shame on me! I am sure all of you my loyal blog readers have been sitting at home wondering when I was going to unleash my creativity and wisdom on you again… (LOL. Wouldn’t that be the life!). I have actually at down several times to write but couldn’t come up with anything to say. I guess you might say I had writers block.
If you ever have any topics you would like me to research, opine on, please suggest! I suppose when you’ve been blogging for 5 years it isn’t much of a surprise you eventually run out of topics at the ready beckon call. Need help from all of you!
Of course we had the horrible tragedy in Oklahoma with the tornado this week. I was shocked by the photos and video. Naturally I thought of my friend Jani who was my roommate in 2000 and has lived in Oklahoma for the last 10 years. I saw her last year after a long loss of contact (just lost emails). I emailed her on Tuesday to see if she was ok and she sent me the following response:
Can you believe this:
“The greatest need is prayers right now. I’ve heard of some members homes being heavily damaged and some others haven’t been able to get to their homes yet. Most don’t have electricity, and water is low pressure or not on yet. At the stake center, a few blocks north of the area, they are collecting water and boxes so people can collect things from the rubble. Our home is ok and we have water turned on again but we can’t drink it. We’ve had a few friends stay and just sleep or use the internet or electricity to charge stuff. There is a constant sound of helicopters and sirens–its a constant reminder of the critical situation out there. I’m sure once the neighborhoods are opened up there will be a great need for volunteers to clean up. It’s going to take a while. I haven’t heard of any fatalities in the ward or stake but there are complete losses of property. I will get in touch with our rs president again and let you know if there is anything they need. She’s been busy, as you can imagine. It’s sad to see much of our community just gone. We love Moore and the people of Oklahoma!”
Please keep them in your prayers and find little ways to help. I was really hoping for a way and then out of the blue the Red Cross called me yesterday to individually ask me to donate blood on Friday. This was kind of amazing because I haven’t given blood in probably three years so I’m shocked they had my number. My veins are so small and wiggly that I have hesitated in the past (last time I donated I was battled and bruised). Anyway, I am O- and they said they particularly needed that so I am happy to give it a go and try to help. I felt like it was a blessing to find a way to help those in need instead of just watching the news. Cross fingers I can actually donate and my veins will cooperate.
On other news we had my spring recital today. It was a great time and my Dad was in town and came to see me. I didn’t get a video this time but here is a recording I made of singing the song just a few minutes ago.
I sang Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan as sung by Adele (no small order!). I’m not saying I could make American Idol but I don’t think you would be running for the hills, covering your ears. I was able to get the character of the song which made me happy. (I wish I had a recording just so you can see that).
Regardless of how it turns out the whole experience of recitals and voice lessons is so positive. It makes me feel like I am progressing, learning, and contributing something beautiful to the world. I work in accounting, which I am grateful for but not exactly the most creative thing. It feels so good to get out there, work on a song from ilk to all right, and hear the positive feedback (btw, if you hate it, keep it to yourself!)
Other Random Things-
Comcast has been making me crazy (also part of the reason I haven’t been posting this week, been on the phone with Comcast or having weak to no internet). After 4 hours today I think we finally figured it out. Prayers! At least I have the phone number of the technician so no more call center nightmares and drives up to Lindon to get new equipment (went through 5 modems before we figured out the gateway channel was full presumably with others from my building). Sigh
Working on getting ready for GSL swim in just a few weeks. I don’t feel nearly ready but I’m going to give it a go. Did a 1200 in a long course pool on Saturday, so that felt good. This taking it slow thing is sort of nerve-wracking and I’m trying to not get nervous. I keep telling myself if I fail, so what. My friends love me. That said, I don’t think I will fail. 🙂
Learned a big lesson at the house Monday. My roommate had her car in the street and I hadn’t read an email from the HOA about towing cars on the street starting Monday. You can guess the ending of the story. Her car got towed and it cost us $264.50! Isn’t that nuts? Double sigh…
As a proud tea party conservative I am horrified at the IRS targeting of tea party groups. I attended many rallies in perhaps the most conservative area of the country, Provo, Utah and never felt anything but peaceful, love of country. Practically the only thing discussed was cutting spending. Honestly you didn’t hear at the tea party about pro-life, 2nd Amendment or other conservative hot buttons. It was without a doubt the most patriotic and positive experience I’ve had as an American and the fact that these people have been targeted makes me nuts. It is wrong and it will not blow over and be forgotten if I have any say in the matter.
So, turns out I had a lot to talk about. Maybe I should always wait a week. 😉
Hope you are all doing well. How’s life treating you?
I have had the craziest week. Between moving, getting ready for Hawaii, working hard and getting ready for a recital today, my life felt pretty overwhelming. Today I am pleased to write this blog as a fully moved-in person. I love my new apartment and feel at home here. All this unpacking included spending an entire day putting together an IKEA bookcase with doors (it was my nemesis! So hard!) has left me exhausted and ready for vacation.
After a long week I finished it today by performing in my voice lesson recital. It was my most intimidating recital because I sand Over the Rainbow- the famous Judy Garland version. It may be my favorite song. Definitely in my top 10. Because I love it so much it made all the more nerve-wracking to sing it. I wanted it to be perfect, which of course it will never be. It is also a more difficult song than you’d first expect. Every time you sing “Some” “Where” you do a full octave change. This happens time and again throughout the song. It is also such a recognizable song that it almost has to be perfect or people will notice. It was a big risk for me to select it, but I have improved greatly because of it. It’s more satisfying than I can explain in words to hear myself get better week-to-week on a song I love so much. It’s the best!
With all this preparation I stepped onto the stage at Hale Theater Orem and sang my heart out. Without sounding too arrogant I think it was the best I have ever sung! I came off the stage beaming and got nothing but positive feedback from my friends and teachers. The funny thing is that I actually messed up on the words in one verse, but I didn’t let it phase me and nobody noticed. I just bought a new camera with a special video feature that is supposed to make it easier to post online. Take a look at the video of the performance. It was an exciting moment in my life.
Like I said, it was the best I have sung and it felt good! I hope you enjoyed it.
On another note my sister Anna had an exciting experience. She is a die hard David Archuleta fan and when I say die hard I mean it! She has seen him live several times, has every performance he has ever recorded, and has pictures of him in her room. You’d think he was a member of the family! More than just loving his music, she genuinely admires him for sticking to his values.
As a member of the David Archuleta fan club she participated in a contest to promote his album in return for various prizes. The grand prize was a 5 minute conversation with David. Anna went full force ahead doing a number of things including sponsoring a fundraiser for a charity David supports. A couple of weeks ago she submitted her project and then to all of our surprise she got an email announcing her as the winner of the grand prize! She won a conversation with her idol David Archuleta! Naturally Anna was beside herself and could hardly sleep the days before the phone call took place. Finally today it happened. At 2:49 he called and they chatted for 21 minutes! I guess they spoke about many things including music, writing songs, religion, BYU, American Idol and more.
Some may say it is a silly thing to get excited over but I disagree. I know David is just a person like anyone else. I also am aware there are lines in fanaticism, which go overboard and can be dangerous. However, in this case, I think it is a good thing. I appreciate anyone who lives his or her life with passion- someone who isn’t afraid to take risks. Anna is such a person. Her passion isn’t limited to musicians. She loves church, her friends, Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter, BYU, and more. I’ve even seen her get excited over a cool minor chord! It is so easy to be lukewarm and mediocre in life. While I was going to school I saw many people satisfied with the bare minimum, with gliding by on the coat tails of others. I still do not understand how others can be happy with such a paltry blahh life.
If Anna is going to be into David Archuleta, she should be into him all the way. I like how Anna has set a pattern in her life of living boldly. Most people wouldn’t have attempted the contest but Anna went for it, and she got it. I admire that. Later in life she will meet many obstacles that will seem impossible, but from this and other experiences she will have the courage to make the attempt- to try her hardest and hopefully the reward will come. In a weird way my singing and her phone call have something in common- they both involve passion for music, and trying our utmost to succeed.
Another thing I admire about Anna is she has learned to accept disappointment. For instance, at her age I would have been more emotional over not getting into the music department. Her attitude allows her to live with passion because however things turn out she can find happiness. Sometimes there are discouraging situations and other times, like today, there are moments of excitement and glee. Congrats Anna! You deserve it!