October 19th, 2003

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

The baby thoughtfully woke us up at 5:59 a.m. this morning and wouldn't go back to sleep, so after numerous futile attempts at getting him to be quiet and let me doze a bit, here I am. I just hope that this clogged, rough feeling in my throat goes away before tonight, because I have twenty minutes' worth of concert to perform at our chapel's evening outreach meeting and for the first time in three years, I'm doing it mostly solo. My usual singing partner is in the throes of selling her house, plus she has a young baby to care for, so she was only able to join me on two songs. Which means that if this cold gets any worse today, I shall be gargling and coughing my way through the performance in a very noticeable and distracting fashion. So I'm praying that doesn't happen.

On a positive note, at least this time around I won't have to worry about my accompaniment -- at least, not as long as George the Sound Guy follows the playlist (note to self: type out playlist this afternoon). Usually any nervousness I may have about performing comes not from the fear of singing, but the fear of trying to play and sing at the same time, and messing up the piano accompaniment. I can read sheet music, but it's a laborious process involving a great deal of squinting, plus the inevitable "cheating" that comes from playing most things by ear and then committing them to muscular memory. So if I mess up while playing and lose my place, the piano score is not going to save me. Not fun.

Now, however, thanks to the nice folks who invented Noteworthy Composer, I don't have to battle my kids for possession of the keyboard (not the piano one, anyway) so I can practice, or worry about whether I'm going to get it right in the end. All I have to do is code my sheet music into the program, choose the instruments for right and left hands, and let the wonders of MIDI play it back for me until I'm fully satisfied that it sounds the way I want it to. Then I convert it to a WAV and burn it to CD. Yay! Instant backing tracks for any song I need, at a fraction of the price I'd pay if I tried to get the "official" songtracks (many of which are impossible to find now anyway, or never existed in the first place).

So for this concert I've coded in Michael Card's "Carmen Christi" and "Joy in the Journey", plus Marty Goetz's "How Long, O Lord" and "One Thing I Have Asked", and made my own arrangement of "What Love It Was", a lovely hymn based on a German folk tune that neither The Cyber Hymnal nor any other site on the web appears to have heard of. The rest I'll do a cappella, which will be even less stressful, since then I don't even need to worry about the sound man getting it right.

Unless, of course, my voice goes down the tubes. Then it won't be fun at all.
A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

Well, I've just come back from the evening's concert and everything went pretty well, I think. At least there were no major difficulties with the music or with my voice, so thanks to any and all who were thinking of and/or praying for me.

However, I forgot that with my kids in the audience, there were at least two other things I hadn't considered that could go wrong. And Nicholas turned out be one of them. Hilariously so, as it happens. Picture this:

I've just finished my opening song, "Joy in the Journey". As the final note dies away, there's a hush over the auditorium. And into that silence pipes up an eager little voice from the front row:

"Well... you did your thing!"


Why yes, my kid watches American Idol, how could you tell?

Anyway, I had to work hard to keep a straight face for about a minute after that. My only consolation is that the lack of reaction from most of the audience would suggest they either couldn't make out what Nicholas said, or else didn't get the reference...