Archive for the 'Audio' Category

The Dakota Ate My Homework

Posted by on Feb 08 2010 | Audio, Listening, Reviews and Recollections, Sarah Sings, Songtaneous

According to my editorial schedule (which is a grandiose way of referrencing a list scratched on a Post-It®), I was supposed to write about how I became a blogger today. But, as you may recall, I sang at the Dakota this weekend as a member of my good friend Jay Young’s Lyric Factory. (That’s him and me in the photo.)

Let me tell you, I had a blast! Being on stage with all those great players (and good-hearted people) was exhilarating.

(Fellow factory workers included Ian Young (bass and Jay’s son), Thom West (keys), Kevin Washington (percussion), Pete Whitman (brass and woodwinds), Sol Testimony (spoken word artist) and my sisters in song – Judi Donaghy and Michele Denise Michaels.)

It was a swinging, fun and cool night of music. Jay took the Wonder and Jackson tunes we all know and love and reworked them into fresh new treats to savor and enjoy. The new arrangements and integrating the spoken word worked so well it could have seemed easy (or obvious?) – but Jay told me he spent a year thinking about the concept and the tunes. (That’s genius.)

Aces of Bass: Anthony Cox & Jay Young

Looking out and seeing so many friends and colleagues – Spices’ members, Lori Dokken, Ann Kay, Nancy Harms and Debbie Duncan and Anthony Cox (Debbie and Anthony have a show at the Dakota this coming weekend) – in the audience was great fun, too! One of the sweetest moments of the night was the woman washing hands next to me in the restroom who excitedly whispered “Wow, I’m standing next to the singer!” I responded “Wow, I’m standing next to a fan!” (Hey, it’s all about perspective.)

And, of course, I was happy that my dad was able to buzz up and catch the show. *smile*

Well, all that good, clean fun took it’s toll. Not only did I abandon my posting plans for today, I meant to have more photos** to share with you … (You see I was busy being in the moment, so I didn’t do a great job of recording the moment.)

In other words, the Dakota ate my homework.

For extra credit, I put together this medley of audio from Saturday night’s show. Enjoy! (No comments on my editing, please. *smile*)

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Thanks to everyone who came and supported me at my Dakota debut. I really appreciate it. (And, if you were at the show and took pics, I would love copies. *wink*)

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Food for Thought (#37)

Posted by on Feb 05 2010 | Audio, Food For Thought, Sarah Sings, Songtaneous

“Do what you can instead of all or nothing.”

The nugget of wisdom above comes from my sis.

(It’s the reason you’re getting a teensy blog post today … instead of nothing. *smile*)

P.S. Here’s a 30-second preview of this weekend’s tribute show.
(Click the triangle.)

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What Happens at Songtaneous?

Posted by on Sep 07 2009 | Audio, Events, Games, Exercises & Resources, Listening, Reviews and Recollections, Songtaneous

Many of you have asked, wondered (or worried *smile*) about what happens at a Songtaneous session.

Well … it’s different every time because it’s spontaneous. *smile*

(Realizing that might not be the most helpful answer,) here’s what happened at the last Songtaneous session.

Saturday Aug 8, 2009

We settled in to sing on a warm, but not yet muggy, afternoon. (The humidity rolled in later that afternoon … with a vengeance.) We sat in a circle of chairs in my dining room.

Before we began singing, we read my friend J’s intentions and then I suggested that we “fall in” to some singing.

“Falling in” means we start singing long notes and then slowly add other ideas — harmonies, rhythms, melodies, etc. — as feels comfortable and natural. We’re exploring the sound ideas each of us can add. Even beginners find things to add. (Promise!)

Then we go “where the music takes us.” Some people clap their hands or tap their feet. Others sing with their eyes closed. Some folks like to move. A word or phrase may come up. We were moving into something nice and …

Whoops! I’d inadvertently locked one of our singers out.

Happy to have another singer, we repeated our intentions and briefly discussed them. K suggested inviting people to add intentions and I invited people to create a personal intention for the day which they could share (or not). For example, “Today, my intention is to sing simply” or “I’m going to practice listening with my eyes open.”

That done, we fell in again and created a long (7 to 8 minutes) dreamy “piece.”

After a break for beverages, we moved into a word game where two people tell different stories at the same time. J hadn’t done this before and I wanted to try it again. (Everyone was gracious enough to let me practice.)

This game makes your whole brain work. Hard.

The goal is to tell your story while occasionally borrowing words from your partner’s story. This means that you have to talk and listen AT THE SAME TIME! Your partner strives to do the same. The two of you work to keep the stories (kind of) coherent and from being too much the same.

Much laughter and hard work later, we moved back to singing with a pattern game. I like working with patterns because they provide structure. It’s the difference between telling someone to draw something and telling someone to draw a picture of a monster in a tree.

We started with everyone singing the same pattern and then we added other patterns as I (or others) came up with them.

(Listen to an example of singing patterns. Oct 2008)

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As our Songtaneous time together came to end, we chatted and finished up the snacks. (Mmm, snacks.)

There you have it. If you hadn’t guessed, I love Songtaneous Saturdays. Sharing songs, stories and treats with singers always energizes and inspires me. I enjoy what each person brings (and sings) and the conversation and insights we share during our time together.

I hope to sing with you soon.

Reminder: The next Songtaneous session is Saturday, September 12. And, I’ve been invited to present Songtaneous September 19 at the Wild Rice Festival in Roseville MN. Visit the events page for more info on both of these events.

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