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Secure

The next song is "Secure" by Craig Courtney.

Here's the dropbox folder with click and music

You can get the click on Youtube

(please note that I have purchased more than enough copies of this piece)

You can also access everything about this in our Facebook group

The promo materials describe it as a "sturdy anthem of purpose," but it touched me on a deeper level when the Knoxville Choral Society did it about 8 or 9 years ago. It's a combination of desperation and faith that is so where I am right now, and it is musically raw and kind of primal. No gorgeous swelling chords here, no romantic lush harmonies. Nope. This is a whole different thing.

If you happen to find a recording of it, it can seem rhythmically stiff and kind of yelly. I hope ours doesn't come out that way.

Singing style for this piece falls halfway between the operatic vibrato that was ok on the Chesnokov and total straight or pop tone. Stay in between Verdi and Billie Eilish. Don't hol…

salvation!

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What an experience. I had tracks from 13 singers and one incredible cellist. I wanted the video with a separate little window of each singer, but it turns out that was beyond my video editing capabilities (but it isn't now); my friend Margaret Andrea got it done.

The response was affirming and wonderful. I hoped to get singers together, make something beautiful, and lift people up on Easter. I think we did that.

here it is on Youtubehttps://youtu.be/k5Ehw6sp0AE


Some thoughts:

1) sending a track to someone of you singing a choral part all by yourself is a really brave thing. Particularly if that person is either a stranger, or someone you think might be perfectionist or judgmental or more talented than they really are. ahem. I tuned and edited every track, not because yall sang badly, but just to fit everything better. I enjoyed the heck out of all the ad libs, and I'm going to put them all together one day : "this ought to be good" "I've done this 47 times…

Salvation is Created

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Hi! Thanks for being part of the virtual choir. I need all parts by 4:00 Saturday April 11th.

Here's the sheet music or if that won't work try Google drive here

Download and print. (click "read more" for .... more!)
You'll need a device to play the track and a device to record your video.

Here's the click track, which has the music and metronome that you'll sing with, at Dropbox, or at Google Drive here. The click track has piano playing all the parts - you should be able to play it online or you can download it. If none of the above will download for you, email me and i'll send it  smashleesongs@gmail.com

Special Soprano Opportunity:  Download this 2nd sop click, sing the soprano part transposed 2 steps down, and I will move you back up in the processing. That high A becomes an F. Sing lightly on the very "low" part or skip it altogether.

Everyone will videotape themself (head and shoulders) singing their part. I will extract audio. The Dropbo…

Blesser Heart

This is one huge "mission accomplished" for me.


Finding the girls, or rather noticing the girls that God sent. Getting us organized, arranging a lot of songs, rehearsing a lot, rehearsing some more, gigging while not having rehearsed enough...

Now we've added a fourth, and the story there is pretty great too.

Our next gig is, uh, fall-ish. We decided to use the summer to get ourselves together. Clearly not there yet.w

Blackbird

For the past 5 years or so I have doubted myself as a performer more than I can believe. Before that I sang my own songs, sang in church (sometimes my own songs), sang professionally, recorded, etc. Didn't think much about it. But these past few years, for complicated personal reasons I am working through - and possibly because I really needed to be really, really humbled - it's been rough.

If this were a Disney movie, there would come a beautiful moment where I realized that all this adversity has given me the gift of Believing In Myself, preferably with a Believing In Myself song. Nope, I don't have one.

This isn't a Disney movie, so it's all messy and hard to see the good changes that are happening. Recently I got my feelings hurt and my fragile confidence kinda banged up by an incident of everyday sexism, which is too tedious to go into. It opened up the subterranean flood of sadness and lostness that is always in there, and boy do I hate that but whatever. I c…

Apparently, I need to get cable.

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These are the cable shows that have licensed this song. I've never seen any of these shows. The last reality show I watched was "Project Runway" during the first couple of seasons. I kind of gave up TV when I went to graduate school and while I can certainly binge it out on Netflix with the best of them, I never have enjoyed reality TV much.

As far as I can tell, "Kardashians" is, well everybody knows what that is, and the "Bellas" and "Divas" are about female pro wrestlers, and "Challenge" is a "Survivor/RealWorld" thing, and "Bad Girls Club" is, well, probably what it sounds like. And "Born This Way" is about people with Downs' Syndrome and that sounds really great.

Despite my lack of, uh, experience with these shows, I'm very excited. In the world of placements this is definitely starting somewhere near the bottom. Don't ask me how much money it will make. But it's still something t…

Sometimes you're the pearl #2

Sometimes you're the pearl, sometimes you're the swine.

This is my cute thing that I say when my song(s) don't do well. And boy did my songs tank in the Smoky Mountain Songwriters' Festival Competition. I entered a few, and the last time I checked they're as good as the ones last year, but not one made the finals. This, as it turns out, is not the end of the world.

Is it braggy to say that winning contests held me back in some ways? yeah probably. Contests were helpful to me when I needed confidence, but like David Wilcox says, "you can get what's second best but it's hard to get enough." ("Eye of the Hurricane" lyric). Apparently confidence is something I need to generate on my own, and I'm working on it. In the meantime, I get to actually have fun at the festival playing out and seeing my friends, and making new friends, instead of being in my own head about nailing the performance at the finals, and who's gonna win.

Does it bu…