Thursday, November 27, 2008

solos and duets

I've been singing again, so it's on my mind. Indulge me.

I rarely sing alone. Even if I'm singing solo, there's generally an accompanist with me. The relationship between singer and musicians is key to how good the music sounds. There's always an element of uncertainty singing with somebody new - will we get on? Will we understand each other? Are they any good? Am I any good? What if it all goes wrong? But when it's good, it's great. There are some people that I love to make music with - they know what they're doing, we trust each other, even if it goes wrong, we'll have sorted ourselves out before the audience has noticed. I especially love singing duets and improvising harmonies. When you don't quite know what's going to happen, but you weave melodies round each other and it just works. It's so much fun! (And I think people like it.)

In music, and in other things too, I work better when I've got a starting point and and a structure. I love singing jazz because you take the tune and fiddle with it, ornament it, play with the rhythm and the melody and the words and sometimes just end up with wordless noises, but it's all fitted into the progression of chords and the pattern of verses, choruses, bridges and middle 8s. I'm not good at designing knits from scratch, but give me a pattern and I'll change it as I go to make it fit better or look different. Essays work much better when I've got a starting point to argue from or a statement to disagree with.

Yes, you can read into this that I would love to have a duet partner for life. Someone to do life with, to bounce ideas off, to argue it out and improvise with. My own accompanist and fellow troubadour. And yes, I would love for him to be a fellow musician. But also, I don't work well alone, no-one does. I need people around me to relate to and have fun with and to be loved by and to love.


Amrita said...

Love what you are saying Becki. Music is my soul food and i enjoy singing in a chior, altho I 've done solos.

If I ever come to Cambridge I must come to your concert. Why don 't you post a music video of yourself singing.Come on do that.

HP said...

And we always thought you were the independent bear!!!
I so know where you are coming from. I definitely dont work well alone.