Bobby and I have been practicing quite a lot on Torn this week. I haven’t been able to speak with Lewis to check his progress with Beautiful and Mercy. I spoke to Connor and he says he finds the bass part slightly challenging, but good for him that he’s been practicing a lot on the piece. I managed to finally find a drummer for Mercy! A few of my fellow students and lecturers recommended Eamonn Watt, so I sent him a message through Facebook and he was more than happy join in.
This week I’ve been struggling to find a drummer for Mercy. Originally I had asked Lewis (from the NC course) to play drums but he pulled out last minute. I don’t actually know many musicians who play drums, so I’ve had to ask others in my course if they have connections.
This week I got together with Bobby. I hadn’t planned on using him in my set, however, I know that I can rely on Bobby to practice the song without me hounding him every other day. I also spoke with Connor and Lewis to get them on board with Mercy, with Lewis playing accompaniment on Beautiful.
After choosing my set of songs, I pondered over who I was going to include in my set. Beautiful and Torn were relatively easy to work with as they only require piano and guitar respectively. Mercy was slightly more challenging as it required a band – bass, piano and drumkit. I didn’t want to use the same musicians as the last student night as I’d like to have the chance to work with other musicians.
In preparation for the student night I’ve begun to think about the songs which I will be performing. I need to consider whether they’ll be suitable instrumentally – for example, if I’m able to find someone who can play the instrument used. I will also need to take into consideration the length of the pieces.
I felt the student night went amazingly well. My voice recovered enough to pull through with all of the songs (especially Torn) and this time around I felt much more confident and comfortable on stage. I think I even cracked a joke or two! In terms of songs, going in order from least confident to most confident – I’d say Beautiful, Torn then Mercy.
The reason for this is that Beautiful is quite an emotional song and it required some amount of power during the chorus. The ‘power’ part wasn’t the problem, it was more so that I couldn’t feel the emotion in the song – as if I just wasn’t connecting with it.
In terms of comfort, I’d say I felt the same level of ease with Mercy and Torn. The only reason Mercy tops the game is because I felt more in the groove. As its such an upbeat song I feel like this is a style I’m more inclined to sing. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy singing Torn, but it’s not a style of song that I would want to sing very often.
There were no technical issues on the night, although, I did ask Lewis Hall if he could accompany on piano for Mercy but he was unable to learn the chordal pattern. Instead I asked Carol for help (yet again) and she was more than happy to play after she had written down the chords in her own style of writing.
Shambles. Utter shambles.
For the past week, say week and a half, my throat was in a terrible condition. Come the time of the assessment I was barely able to sing – in fact, I had to cut my assessment short because I couldn’t handle it anymore. Torn was definitely the worst on my voice due to the way I had sung it and although it sits around the same range as Mercy, I found Mercy a lot easier to sing even though it requires more power. I found that Beautiful is sort of a middle ground – it was pretty easy on my voice but it required quite a bit of power during the chorus.
During the assessment, Torn was the only piece I sang with a live accompaniment. For Mercy and Beautiful I used backing tracks. With the backing tracks I found myself feeling like I was singing off-key, whereas with Torn (even though it was a huge strain on my voice) I felt more comfortable singing along to Bobby’s acoustic.
In the end, I had failed the initial assessment and had to do a resit during the student – which I had passed.
This is my live performance cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.
This is my live performance cover of Oasis’ “Half the World Away” in the style of Aurora.
This is my live performance cover of Duffy’s “Mercy”.