“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”—Erin Bow (via writingadvice)
Hi! My name's Hien. I'm singer too by the way and i just heard your cover of rolling in the deep and you were right in your comment for saying that you need to open up your mouth more. I've been training at Strathmore music hall for a while now (my genre is R&B and Jazz) so I thought I'd give you a couple pointers. First off, if you want to try opening up your mouth some more, look at a lot of broadway videos and try to duplicate their sound. If you look at Adele singing "Rolling in the Deep" live, her mouth doesn't open too wide because she has a deeper sound. Also it helps if you think of it as reaching as far as you can down to pull up the note. For the higher parts (like the chorus) what has helped me is what i call the trumpet and smile method. If you look at Whitey Houston's performance of the Star Spangled Banner in the 1993 superbowl i believe, you can see that she projects her sound quite bluntly, like she's throwing it to you. With this it's helpful if you open your mouth AND throat (almost like you're yawning) so this way the note comes out more freely and you're not hurting yourself. As for the smile portion, it just makes it easier for you to get the note out all the while pleasing your audience As your for runs (like the line "there's a fire") try to break it down note by note. Sing it slowly and then gradually speed it up. This is how I've been taught at Strathmore and since it's a famous institution of music, I just sit back and soak up the info lol. Also this way, if you want to learn how to do faster, more complex runs (look up jazmine sullivan's performance of in love with another man live) it'd be easier for you to do them and it'll sound a lot more crisp like each not is emphasized and not clumped together. Also what i said earlier about reaching low and pulling the note out can help with your sound as well because you sound somewhat nasally during the song. this is just some advice you dont have to take it. but offering up an opinion.
thank you for the advice! :) i will really take everything you said to heart. i know you didn’t have to write all of this down to help someone you don’t even know — that makes it a hell of a lot more meaningful.
i hope you don’t mind if i publish this message, just in case there are other singers reading who will benefit from it. again, thank you so much.
#072 ROLLING IN THE DEEP (ADELE COVER). this type of singing always leaves me insecure. i wasn’t born with a big voice (sadface.jpg), so sexy and soulful r&b singing has never come naturally to me. i am trying, though. there’s a something there, i can tell. i just need to get over this fucking shyness and open that voice up.
my time with the cellar doors started out as a one off-collaboration. "alright, i’ll sing with you, just one song." then two. then i started coming to band practice. then they started learning some of my originals. we arranged a few of them and put them in the lineup with older cellar doors songs. last night we worked on “star crossed,” before buckling down and holding a pretty serious band meeting.
it’s clear at this point that i am, in fact, part of the band. (it still hasn’t really sunk in.) we talked about things that bands do — recording live acoustic sessions, shooting videos, gigging. surreal. we also talked about how i’m shy and i don’t let loose and just enjoy being on stage. at some point we’re also going to have to address the fact that i hate showing my face. ugh.
overall, tonight was really a wake up call. i’m part of this; and they want me to be a part of this. the least i can do is give my best and show my face. right? (easier said than done, but i’m sure as hell going to try.)
#071 TILL THERE WAS YOU (THE MUSIC MAN). another cover of a cover; sort of, at least. growing up i thought of this as a beatles song, because their version was what i was familiar with. it was only later that i found out they’d covered the song from “the music man.”
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via skeletales)
“sometimes i really hate music and how it messes up the natural progression of my life, but most of the time i can’t believe i’m lucky enough to be able to call it my passion. everything is so much more beautiful now, even the dark and horrible parts of myself, because i know that the catharsis will result in at least one good melody.”—A Problem Like Maria
#070 EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A CAT (THE ARISTOCATS COVER). i don’t even like cats! hahaha. i do like this song, though.
this is another example of a song that i would never have thought to cover if someone hadn’t suggested it. a dear friend of mine requested it a while back; i miss her a lot. hopefully i’ll get to talk to her soon so i can link her to this post. <3
i need to start running a tighter ship, mates. this weekend has most definitely been an eye opener for me.
alright, first things first. the “i’ll be seeing you” billie holiday cover EP release will have to be postponed indefinitely. there’s too much going on right now, both for me and for sebastien. that doesn’t mean we’re going to forget about this project, or that it’s going to be shelved. slow and steady wins the race… eventually. haha.
even with that not hanging over my head anymore, there’s still a lot of loose ends to take care of! i finished writing lyrics and melodies for my collaboration with dhublly last week, but i didn’t hit my target — i wanted to finish working on my collaborations with wandering mayor and syxx, too. we’ll get that done this week, hopefully.
writer’s block is hitting me with a vengeance. i feel like my melodies are getting repetitive, and i’ve been trying to push myself more but it’s hard when the instrumentals i’m working with are preset to flow to only one chord. (this is not a criticism! the producers i work with are all very talented; if anything this is challenging me to up the ante and match their skills.)
in addition to all of these collabs, i’ve agreed to host an internet radio show — a weekly album appreciation session called “sound trip,” on sari sari sounds. i figure this is the least i can do for the local music scene; my own way of paying it forward. the first 2 episodes are set to be recorded this thursday.
finally, to tackle a subject i’ve been avoiding (sometimes not so) gracefully for the past few months: my solo music. my music with the cellar doors is about the closest i have to a solo effort right now, but of course it’s still different. i’m talking to one of my closest bros right now about starting a band that would make the kind of music i’ve been dreaming to make — we’ll see where that takes us. as far my rap / electronic music goes, maybe i’ll compile a few of the collaborations i’ve been doing (pending permission from the respective collaborators, of course) and release it as an album. who knows? i’m also getting a midi controller for my birthday in july and therefore getting started on either ableton or reason, so that might change things up significantly,too.
right now, honestly, i’m not giving the “solo” distinction much thought because i’m just enjoying making music as a whole. i’ve never been happier.
i signed up for it today. haven’t really explored the features yet, but it looks like it does what it says it does. totally a godsend. now i don’t have to be scared that i’ll lose everything if my hard drive crashes.
#069 AMAZING BECAUSE IT IS (THE ALMOST). i almost never do a complete cover; this is a rare occurrence. there’s something to be said about a song that samples another song the way this particular one does it — it feels old, but not old and used. more like old and familiar, but new at the same time. (i’m not making sense, i know.)
what's up with the sudden wu tang hype? it's like a few months ago everybody started pretending to like them "oh hey wow who's your favorite? gza? rza? ghostface? RIP ODB he is such a legend"
i suppose the hype is because wu-tang’s dropping an album this july. (can’t wait!) personally i’ve been a fan for a long time, but my interest was initially rekindled when raekwon came out with cuban linx pt. 2 (honestly i liked it better than shaolin vs. wu-tang).
the comparison to odd future might also be the cause of all these kids suddenly discovering them and “pretending to like them.” that’s just my two cents. who knows?
“If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. If you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. If you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. If you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. If you have to sit there and rewrite again and again, don’t do it. If it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. If you’re trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. If you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. If it never does roar out of you, do something else. If you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you’re not ready. Don’t be like so many writers, don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don’t be dull and boring and pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-love. The libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep over your kind. Don’t add to that. Don’t do it. Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. When it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. There is no other way. And there never was.”—Charles Bukowski (via frankiesays-relaxxx)