Wednesday, February 9, 2011
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah ~ Leonard Cohen
As my mother will testify, because we are usually haunting her house in the weeks prior to audition time, whichever song Star has chosen is going to be extremely well known by everyone within cooee before she is done because Star does actually rehearse.
This year, after weeks & weeks of angst, she chose Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Unfortunately of all the available versions to choose from the two Star liked were unsingable by her. One was too low, the other pitched too high. So what did Star do? She meshed the two, dragged out the guitar & spent forever learning chords & her innovative version of a very well known song.
Now Star in full flight rather reminds me of Mamma Cass of the Mamas & the Pappas. Some of us remember who they were. She has the range, the power & that beautiful clarity of tone. Not that she always displays that for choir but we sure get the full benefit around here ~ & Hallelujah is the sort of song to have everyone humming along so as I drove her into her audition yesterday I was under a strict injunction not to hum along. My strange child did not forbid my going in with her, only my making strange noises under my breath!
Now auditions are brief, just 10 minutes duration usually. After 4 years with Alison, Alison has a pretty good idea what's going on with Star's voice so asked if we'd mind waiting while she slipped a new girl in. Not a problem we thought. Unfortunately she had a guitar with her & what she chose to sing was ~ yep! Hallelujah!
Star nearly died on the spot. She prides herself on choosing a one of a kind song that she can be pretty sure no~one else is going to sing. It rocked her though being carless she had opted to sing a capella as she usually does rather than lug her guitar case around. Now remember I have heard Star sing this song day in day out for weeks on end. I know how it is supposed to go, even given what Star had done to it, & the version I was used to hearing wasn't too bad though I have been on her case about her enunciation! Just the same I thought it sounded ok.
Her audition did not sound ok. Star went off the air, as she does sometimes, & totally mangled that poor song, which by no stretch of the imagination can be soul droned! There was at least one really sour note which even made me wince. Alison stopped her, set up a backing track for a version Star didn't know & off she went again. Ummmm, yeah. She did ok when she was able to follow the music but is was quite different to any of the versions we are used to around here. Creative, was the term used to describe Star's audition piece. Make of that what you may.
So while Alison chatted to me about Wicked Star eyed her sight reading piece. Sight reading is usually something of a shocker. Star takes pot luck on hitting a note somewhere in the vicinity ~ or not, as the case may be. Random, opportunistic, totally hit & miss. Yesterday she nailed it. There was one really wrong note but Alison was surprised. I was surprised. Star was surprised.
Yes, Star's in. Alison actually likes risk takers & as an educator, as a homeschooler, I know that the only true learners are the risk takers so all's good. What's more the backing track to Hallelujah has been e~mailed through to Star because with a little work [& minus the Star meddling] it will sound pretty good ~ especially, Alison says, if Star has a listen to K.D Lang ~ which I did because I like K.D Lang. This version gave me goosebumps. Wow!