Category Archives: recording

Being melody

(Click here for a recording that goes with this poem)

A garden of sweet strings softly lit by
The warmth of flute and clarinet
Rises into the air, inviting my entry,
Into flowing landscapes of sound

And now I hear those notes that are
For me a cue to prepare my body
To take in air – every inch of my torso,
A balloon whose walls are poised muscle.

Smooth inevitability of the passing bars
Leave me no choice but to join the dance
And suddenly the internal space of my head
Is throbbing with sound – my voice lives.

Who am I? A mournful abandoned lover
Every emotion raised to operatic intensity
By the magnificence of the pouring harmonies
That awaken powerful echoes in my heart.

The endless lines must flow unimpeded
By self-doubt or adjustment. I try to float
And trust that the sound will ride secure
On the smooth strength of the tensing muscles.

Suddenly a change of key brings out the sun
Rushes optimism through every bar
The heart beats faster as if obeying
The quickened pulse of the conductor’s arm.

A new challenge now – cascades of notes
Too fast to think, or fear mistakes
Just following, setting the voice free to fly
And soar above the racing orchestra.

Now tension builds towards the climax
My breathing deep, my throat relaxing
To soar above the frozen orchestra
And plummet down to the final note.

Responding to a prompt at one single impression to write about melody, I thought I would try my hand at a poem that trys to capture a singer’s perspective of singing one of my favourite arias – Bellini’s Qui la voce sua soave from I Puritani.

To make this a multimedia experience, I’ve added a recording of me singing the aria I had in mind. It was recorded at home on my computer so it’s neither great quality sound nor my best quality singing – but I thought it would give you an idea of what the experience I’m describing sounds like from the outside.

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Song to the moon

Click here to listen to a recording I made recently

Pisen Rusalky O Mesiku (Song of the Moon), Rusalka’s aria from Rusalka

Mesiku na nebi hlubokem…………O moon, high in the heavens
Svetlo tvé daleko vidi,………………Your light sees far,
Po svete bloudis sirokém………….You travel around the wide world
Divas se v pribytky lidi…………….Gazing into human dwellings

Mesicku, postuj chvili ……………. O, moon, stand still a while
reckni mi, kde je muj mily………..Tell me, where is my love?

Rekni mu, stribmy mesicku,……..Tell him, silvery moon
me ze jej objima rame,……………..That I embrace him tightly,
aby si alespon chvilicku……………That he should for at least a while
vzpomenul ve sneni na mne………Remember his dreams!

Zasvet mu do daleka,……………….Shine on him, wherever he is
rekni mu, kdo tu nan ceka!………Tell him I am here waiting!

O mneli duse lidska sni,……………If he is dreaming of me,
at’se tou vzpominkou vzbudi!…..Awaken his memories
Mesicku, nezhasni, nezhasni!……O, moon, don’t disappear!

I’ll not complain (Ich grolle nicht)

Click here to listen to this recording

I’ll not complain, even though my heart is breaking.
Love forever lost to me, I’ll not complain.
Although you shine with the brilliance of a diamond,
No light relieves the darkness of your heart:
I feel as if I’ve always known it.
I’ll not complain, even though my heart is breaking:
I saw you in a dream,
I saw the darkness inside you,
I saw the snake that devours your heart,
I saw, my love, how very miserable you are!
I’ll not complain, I’ll not complain.

(Ich grolle nicht, from Schumann’s Dichterliebe)

I’ve finally mastered the technology to post recordings of my singing on this blog (well, almost – I could do with a proper microphone!). And it seemed appropriate to start with this song, which captures the mixture of pain and compassion that I feel towards my ex. The fact that I can now sing this without choking up shows just how far I’ve come in the healing process. Hope you enjoy it…