New Year, New Chance? “THIS TIME”

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, 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 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     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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Fine Silver Repousse Leaf Dichroic Glass Pendant

This pendant that will be exhibited at the UofM Hospital from February -April. Honored to be asked by one of my metalsmithing teachers, Dan Neville. It was a challenge to shape the leaf to hold the glass with leaf veining … Continue reading

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Take Part in the Conversation

The Ecstacy and the Agony of Lyrics.

Just part of my sharing on all things creative process.

Enjoy and join in conversation if you have an offering.

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