Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Wed, 06 Aug 2008

Singing in the rain

Last Saturday I attended a singing workshop with Dafna Dori from Jerusalem organised by my friend Malcolm. I don't really consider myself a singer, but with what I've been doing with the drumming group I am getting a feel for it and would like to explore the possibilities. There were about 16 of us there including my daughter and another young girl. The rest ranged widely in age. We did some fun warm-ups and then proceeded to learn three Jewish songs. There were the challenges of unfamiliar pronunciation and scales, but we seemed to do quite well. For the last song we also learnt the circle dance that goes with it. I'm not sure what people would think of us all dancing around in the wood outside the studio singing in Hebrew, but I enjoyed it.

The fact is that these songs are religious, but I didn't feel too uncomfortable singing them. That may have had something to do with them being in another language, but they were fun to sing. I don't particularly enjoy singing hymns on the rare occasions that I'm in church, but then a lot of those are pretty boring. There is plenty of spiritual classical music that I enjoy, but the words, if any, are often in other languages. Ultimately it is the quality of the music rather than the message that tends to move me. I can be moved by lyrics, but generally because they reflect my mood or inclinations.

I recorded the session on my Zoom H4. It was not ideally placed on the floor with a small tripod, but worked pretty well. I then had the challenge of editing over an hour of material to extract the songs for people to listen back to. I've done some previous editing with Sweep, but that was very slow and took up most of my memory. Ardour would not even load the MP3 file, but that may be due to a lack of add-on. I didn't try Audacity at first as I have been having issues with getting sound on play-back, but this time it worked and was very easy to use. I noticed that it used a minimal amount of memory. I just did the basics of cutting out the songs and saving each as a file without playing around with effects, but that is something I need to experiment with. It's not something I have ever done much with. I need to find time to check out some of the tutorials out there, but I expect there is no substitute for experience. There is an interesting set of screencasts on using Ardour.

Whilst writing this up I have been listening to free tracks from the new Byrne/Eno album and bassist Kev Cooke. All good stuff.

[21:42] | [] | Comments | G
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