Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Energy Vampires

I made it through day two of music and art camp. Some things improved -- the shy girl participated, the kids who yesterday cried and didn't want to stay when their mothers left today came eagerly, with no tears. But on the other hand, once the kids get a comfort level, the behavior tends to go downhill as they get louder and rowdier. But only two more days to go.

I've decided that children are energy vampires. I went to bed early last night and woke up before my alarm went off this morning, which means I was well-rested. By noon, when the parents came to get them, the kids were still running around like maniacs, and that's after twenty minutes on the playground and a twenty-minute "movement" session (dance and movement-oriented games to teach things like coordination, balance and rhythm). On the other hand, I'm now fighting to stay awake. I think they sucked all the energy out of my body. And I still have a short choir session tonight (an audition rehearsal for a music director candidate) and a ballet class. If I get the most urgent work done today, I may allow myself a brief nap.

We got to do a run-through of the duet for Sunday last night, and it looks like it will be a tricky one because it goes back and forth pretty quickly, which takes some mind reading with the duet partner to come in at just the right time. Half the song, the soprano line is essentially doing a descant that has very little to do with the alto line other than coming in as a kind of echo, but with different notes and rhythms. It's not just singing along, but popping in from time to time. This song is in cut time, and a lot of the soprano lines start after an eighth rest at the beginning of a measure. That's not even a rest, that's a stutter. I'm really good with pitch, but rhythm isn't my strong suit. I can keep a beat, but counting can be a struggle, and when it comes to complicated counting, I mostly just have to get a feel for it and go by instinct. With this piece, my instincts seem to be about half a beat behind. So, I have work to do. Fortunately, I found on YouTube that there's a version that's just the piano accompaniment and the soprano line. It's for the four-part choral version, but the soprano part and the accompaniment are identical. Maybe if I get the entrances nailed against the accompaniment, I can sing better with the alto.

On the bright side, I do have the notes nailed, including the octave jumps and the bizarre intervals.

Now to see if I can describe a book in a way that will help an illustrator give me the cover image that I didn't even realize I wanted.

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