11 October 2004

I used to sing...

I used to sing a lot. In fact, I sang so much, I gave in and minored in vocal performance at University. (It was easier than piano, if only because I didn't feel like getting off my arse at say 23h and go all the way downtown to practice). You see, I've always been a Night Person, so that's when my synapses were firing best, etc., etc. So what if I've studied piano since I was five? (You'd think I'd have learned it by now...) I figured the voice thing can't be that hard, so I gave it a shot. And lo and behold, it worked out. Who knew?

Among my many claims to fame, were the performances I gave in my final year, which included a Christmas Concert in which I wheezed through with an asthma attack (then drove myself to the hospital for the second time that day), and the spring concert performed with a mass choir and symphony orchestra. I was recovering from a hellish case of food poisoning and warbled my way through Bach's Magnificat before easing off stage to resume my activities as human cuisinart.

I think it was karma, because I was notorious for attending recitals of others and doing my best to distract them, and thus, ruin their performance. But hell, it was fun. Crazy kids, and all that. You get the deal.

Since that time, my singing has curtailed considerably. But by chance, I happened to hear a song I sang for an audition many, many, (many) years ago, and it got me thinking about it all. It was Laschia Ch'io Pianga from the opera Rinaldo by Handel. Not the easiest piece of music to sing, but I have a thing for baroque and singing in Italian (which helped).

In some of my ensemble work, I recall the people who I sang with, and wonder what's happened to them. Rob McCartney is the evening news anchor on KETV. He had this girlfriend who was always with him. I believe she's still with him, because they married and have three kids. And while I normally find that type of thing annoying as hell, with her it was cool, because she was quite nice. Another (who you can read about by following this link) is currently serving a hella long sentence in prison for 2nd degree murder of her boyfriend. I guess he got on her nerves in a serious way, because she stabbed him to death with a knife from the kitchen, then poured gasoline around his bed as he lay there bleeding to death. I don't know that she lit it up, however. I forget. Anyway, it was all very tragic. And she was extraordinarily talented. She had an amazing voice, and was studying art. Her tastes were a tad gaudy, but she had a good eye for colour. That much I recall.

My voice teachers ranged from angry and obese (some cow named Eileen), to tiny and neurotic, with an overactive bladder (that would be Connie). It's amazing I learned f*ck all. Then again, that's what I get for going to Dear Ol' Nebraska U.

By the way, I'm a mezzo. I used to be a coloratura soprano, but as the sands of time poured through the hourglass that is my life, my voice changed. It happens. And if anyone's interested, I'm available for weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, retirement parties, and any event involving large quanties of curried foods. Drop me an e-mail and maybe we can work something out.

- D.


Norma said...

That's amazing that even prisoners have no privacy on the internet. Didn't know you could do that.

My voice changed too. I was never good, but could sing in the shower and driving the car. I used to have a range, now I have two notes. I think it is disuse that kills it, or those sappy, clappy songs in church.

deawn said...

Actually Norma, prisoners are often denied the most basic civil rights, all falling under the heading of 'crime and punishment.' The really funny part is that I stumbled across the site while trying to find out which correctional facility one of my cousins might be doing time in. Ain't that a hoot, gal?

Now that you've curtailed your singing, maybe you can learn congas. They're hell on the nails, but that primal rhythm really makes you feel alive. You feel me?

- d.