I’ve blogged about writing lyrics before. The next step after writing is preparing to sing them. I had some difficulty with that. I revised the lyrics several times to insure that the important words fall on the musically stressed notes (on the beats of each measure.) I also revised my writing like I revise my prose, i.e. examining every word and pause (punctuation) to see if there was a more precise or meaningful alternatives. I kept changing the lyrics until the final practice. I don’t think I would do that if I were doing a reading, but the final change simplified things. Lord knows I could benefit from simplification.
When writing prose I can just delete the old and replace it with the new. Unfortunately for singing, the old words and punctuation stick around in my head. I have to read the text to get the new version that I’m singing. As part of the dialogue between Pilate and Jesus, I wanted to differentiate between the two in the song. In some music showing Pilate and Jesus interacting, each man’s words are sung by different singers. To emphasize the difference each singer uses a different range. For example if Pilate’s lines are sung by a tenor, Jesus’ lines would be sung by a bass. I finally decided to speak Pilate’s part and to sing Jesus’ response. While I speak the piano is quiet. Stopping singing is easy. Coming back in at a precise point and more or less in tune is difficult.
It is more difficult because I got lost reading the sheet music at home. I practiced singing the wrong notes, which reinforced the error. Pausing to remember in the middle of a song does not work well. Silence from me while the piano plays on is quite noticeable to the audience.
Fortunately I will be singing at church. The accompanist is excellent. My church does not practice excommunication. And the lyrics are new. My performance will be the world premier. If I mess it up people might think it was meant to be like that.
This dabbling in music is expanding my knowledge base. I think I will stick with it.
Have you started down a new path and, if so, what were the results?