In the Moment: A Ponderance

A dear friend and former student wrote tonight about the feeling of always wanting more–moments, chances, discoveries…Unrelated, and started writing my thoughts.  You can view this yearning feeling as a curse or a blessed excitement, and I try to embrace it as wanting to experience life to the fullest.  As I age, I try to open up and risk after all the hurts, disappointments, almost, betrayals, failed attempts.  It’s hard not to dwell in the past, or to believe it’s not too late when there is less road ahead than behind.  The following paragraph flowed as I pondered what my friend wrote about her quest for MORE…

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.. Always wondering if we did enough, served enough, were loved or accepted. Did I have enough fun? Did I trust too little, too easily? Did I miss a chance because I was preoccupied with something or someone? The questions are endless. We can embrace our curiosity and call it something cool and ambitious, or we can bet ourselves up for it. Our mindset changes with sleep, events, other people’s influence, hormones and more. What remains a consistent truth between is that we will always only have the moment we’re in. If we are more than 50% content in that moment, it seems we have achieved more than many. Very can nab that other 49 %. When we get a chance later.

What do you think?  Feel free to share in comments.  Reference song lyrics. Movie quotes or anything that has meaning for you.  Just don’t spend too much time pondering or you’ll miss the moment you are in.

I’ll start…  “Hanging By a Moment” -Lifehouse

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Somewhere Only We Know -Today Is All We Have

Love this song by Keane. So much meaning in a simple poem. Why do we make things so hard?  This day, right now, is all we have. It will be gone if we wait for everything and everyone to be perfect. That’s what this song is about for me.

The lyrics are specific and direct enough to make the message clear, but universal enough to be about life,global warming, friendship, parental relations, and a love relationship that is current, past, or in danger of slipping away.

The melody and vocal delivery is folk like and narrative.  The vocal tine is unpushed and light, and rhythms sparse, allowing the lyrics to be the star.

Lyrics under the You Tune link.

I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river, and it made me complete

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute, why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know?

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute, why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go?
So why don’t we go?

This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know

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New Year, New Chance? “THIS TIME”

www.DanielleBlanchard.com/ThisTime.mp3

It’s funny how I can take a lyrics and use it to explain my mood, philosophical point, and much more. Tonight I was again pondering my life and all of its extreme positives and pain as we all read the constant stream of motivational posters and love/life quotes we find around every corner.

“THIS TIME” is a mood / art piece from the first CD of original material from DAVENPORT REX (Dave Gillespie, Jim Murphy and Danielle Blanchard). [available from CDBaby.com, iTunes and most downloads sites] On the surface, most people would float off in the tranquil and melodious vocal, backed by instruments that harken another time, perhaps the British Isles. They may gather from the mood that the singer is wanting another chance at a love: “Take me back, I’ll get it right this time.” While I was first learning the piece, it was where my mind went.

I discussed this with Dave, the writer, and he said it was actually more of a thought piece where the vocal is singing as a ‘dead’ person. The imagery is through these eyes, looking down to earth, and wanting one more chance on earth. The calm vocal takes on new meaning as the ‘ghostly’ whispers and pleas of this being.

Vocally, the key we ended up recording in was around a 4th lower than the original. While it forced me to sing in some ways that challenged at first, ultimately, I was able to use these physical discomforts to paint with phrasing, how long to hold each syllable and vowels that needed to be pure but still sound conversational, not stiffly sung. I needed to control breath escaping to give an understated feel but still have energy and yearning. Lastly, I worked to find the single note/word of a phrase that needed to carry the emotion and strived to give that without letting it accidentally jump abruptly at the audience.

I’ve often asked my voice students to sum up a song they are interpreting in one word. This is a great way to make them focus on what their personal story is within a song. The single word for this one could be REGRET. Beautifully, the yearning also gives me a sense of hope. As I listen as a listener (even though it’s my voice), I feel like coming through this is a fresh determination to not waste a moment, even a painful one. Experience everything, hold no secret feeling back. Yep, I’m a deep one.

As a studio musician, I’ve been asked what my main style is. As a studio vocalist, I jokingly say “What do you need?” I have to be competent at all styles and ranges. I also have eclectic taste, so pinning me down to a single style that is mine is impossible. Ultimately, I like any song with a strong melody, lyrics that are cleverly constructed, etc. and a song that has an actual story or gives enough clues but is vague enough for me to write my own. Most importantly, does the song in all of these elements MOVE me?

I hope you enjoy this song. May 2015 give me another chance, and another, and please, just one more. I dedicate this to anyone who reads this and reads between the lines to the heart of all matters.

Please feel free to join in the conversation about all things creative.  State analyticisms, not criticims, so everyone fees safe to join in.  

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In Any Key – Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Without You

http://www.danielleblanchard.com/ChristmasAintChrtistmasWithoutYou.mp3 Around 2000, I was asked to do a cut for charity, and had an impossible deadline to meet.  I gave this song to Mike Strange (just before he started engineering for Eminem) and he laid down the backing tracks. … Continue reading

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It’s Coming on Christmas – A Cappella Bravery

It’s Coming on Christmas – A Cappella Bravery.

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It’s Coming on Christmas – A Cappella Bravery

daniellesings

http://danielleblanchard.com/River%20-%20A%20Cappella.mp3     circa 2011

A Cappella singing is a brave thing to do.  You can’t hide behind the acoustics and harmonics of an instrumental accompaniment.  To sing a cappella by yourself allows for a certain freedom, but is even more bare bones exposed.  To sing multiple parts in a recording that is a cappella requires the precision of an ensemble with the added skill of listening for the nuances and breath phrasing without the benefit of seeing other singers for visual cues.

When shedding out an interpretation of a new piece I plan to perform or record, I try to lay down recordings of my different phrases so I can get a better feel of what the audience is hearing in terms of tone, volume, over or under ornamentation, and most important to me, the connection to the lyric in as conversational a manner as possible.

“River” by Joni…

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Vulnerability in the Creative Process A/K/A Make Lemonade

Vulnerability in the Creative Process A/K/A Make Lemonade.

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