Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The Song Reveals Itself
It's that exact moment when suddenly you know that you can actually perform that song you love, that until now you've only listened to. We singers know that hearing a song, even loving a song is far different than having to actually perform it live. There's a thrill, an actual high - a sort of endorphin rush I guess - that must be similar to what golfers must feel sinking a putt for an eagle or something like that, that happens when you realize you really do have the lyrics memorized. You really are comfortable with the intricacies of the melodies and harmonies and you sound great singing them. It's always so cool to finally know every line of the song and be able to sing along with it in the car - over and over. Then being able to perform your take on the song yourself in a live situation. This is the moment I refer to as the song revealing itself to me. It is that "Aha!" moment that is a thrilling moment every time. When I transition from humming along to the tune - truly digging it but not really concentrating on forming the lyrics with my lips or breathing properly through a performance of it, just sort of passively experiencing it - to understanding how to actually perform it. I'm kind of going through that right now with two tunes - Jason Mraz's elegantly simple but romantic "Lucky" his duet with Colbie Caillet and "When You're Home" from the original Broadway Cast recording of "In the Heights". I'll be performing both soon. As a musical theater artist and a singer in a dance cover band, I am constantly learning new tunes. And it is that moment that keeps me coming back time after time for another fix. Composers of original work feel that same thrill when their own creation suddenly comes out of the shadows, blinking into the sunlight, only to make its new home in ears, hearts and souls. Not all songs reveal their secrets and it's frustrating when that happens. Kind of like that song doesn't want to be my friend, just a polite acquaintance who is peripherally aware of me and doesn't mind me listening, but would never confide it's deepest thoughts to me or allow me to sing it. But fortunately, I make friends pretty easily and am often lucky to have that moment when the song reveals itself to me.