I’ve sung both of these songs before with both my previous adult choir and the school choir which I ran for 4 years. I’d like to think I know them both inside out! But every time I revisit a song after some time away from it, there are little additions and changes that I cannot help but make. Sometimes, I’ve heard a harmony that doesn’t exist and am amazed that I hadn’t added it in last time!
The West Bridgford Liberty Singers are tackling ‘Sweet Disposition’. This is a cracking sing originally by the Temper Trap – and Australian Indie band. So much scope for harmony and frilly lovely things.
It’s slightly odd as I go once again into the studio with Rich to record myself singing each part. I have to sing the whole song, 6 times, along to a backing track which only I can hear. Weird.
Anyway, it seems to work. I even sometime surprise myself. Once we have the whole song recorded, Rich then masters it so we have a full vocal version
But the beauty of this is that he can also separate all of the parts and we can send them out for people to learn. As I’ve mentioned before, I run my choir parts by colour. So for example, the altos are yellow, so they can listen to just their yellow part (as it will be carefully labelled) without getting distracted by the reds or greens. Then, when confident, they can try their part against the backing track with full vocals.
Teaching this song has its challenges. There’s a really tricky harmony part in the chorus where 4 parts are singing an aahhhh sound so as to make a backing chord. I teach this with my huddling technique! Each part stands in a corner in a huddle and they learn their part in these huddles. Once confident, they can spread out a little more, then a little more….. It worked when I taught children aged 9-11, so it should work for adults… and it did!!! We are still working on it but I’m really hopeful that we can get it ready for our big gig on the 29th June…..
Together Again by Janet Jackson is the happiest song about dying I’ve ever come across – a real celebration of life! Again, 6 different parts in the studio although this one is for the Liberty Chorus. Working with a smaller group of people means I actually know who they all are (this helps massively) and I know how they sound. Because the parts for this song are all women and all fairly close in range, I was able to create an arrangement which meant that everyone gets a stab at singing the tune rather than having to sing oohhh or la la la all the time. I even moved some people from their ‘comfort zone’ and gave them something a bit trickier to do.
I love arranging songs. I can hear what it’s going to sound like in my head but the opportunity to record the partisan this way means that I get to hear it outside of my head and understand if it really works. Rich has a keen ear and he’ll soon tell me if it doesn’t! Really looking forward to getting started with Together Again on June 13th…..
This is what it’s going to sound like…..