Shannon Phypers Choral Director, Marlborough High School Ithaca College '07 - Current slave to BU's M.M. online degree program
DJ Littell wrote:3: Collegiate a cappella, for me, is 2 things. It is fresh, and it is humorous. Both of these do not have to be apparent in an album, but I would appreciate it if at least one of them were. Collegiate a cappella is humorous by its very nature. The groups are taking hit songs and mutilating them, singing "wop doo-chu bow wow" and trying to pass it off as original music. I say this not to mock, but to implore you to see the inherent humor of it. I'm asking groups to stretch their creative muscles in a way that recognizes this inherent ridiculousness. The reason I prefer a cappella to regular music is because it often tells two stories. The first is the story that the song itself was originally telling. This is what the original artist intended. The second story is the one that the group is telling to get you to listen to their song INSTEAD of the original. The Bubs seemed to ignore this concept with their latest album because, when I listen to it, I can only hear one story. It is not fresh, or humorous. It is a cover of a song. I'm looking for more than just a cover of a song. I'm looking for an original expression within this ridiculous world of covers.
DJ Littell wrote:Collegiate a cappella is humorous by its very nature. The groups are taking hit songs and mutilating them, singing "wop doo-chu bow wow" and trying to pass it off as original music. I say this not to mock, but to implore you to see the inherent humor of it. I'm asking groups to stretch their creative muscles in a way that recognizes this inherent ridiculousness.
DJ Littell wrote:The human voice is by far an easier instrument to control than any other instrument.
DJ Littell wrote:Example: You have musical phrase A and phrase B.
"A" is sung quiet and legato. Then it crescendo's into "B," but suddenly gets even quieter than before, and switches abruptly into staccato. After you've already learned the notes, singing these musical accents almost becomes instinctual. You have to make sure you're interpretation is the same as the others, but controlling that specific dynamic individually is much easier, I think. A piano doing the same thing is harder, for me, because you can't feel the music, the notes and the tones, inside of you. It's NOT instinctual. It's very hard to perfectly start quiet, get loud, and then suddenly quieter and staccato. I can sing those notes much easier than I can play the notes perfectly and with the same musical phrasing every time.
Again, both are difficult in their own way, but the idea of controlling the instrument may be a bit different than learning how to play the music. I think you were thinking more about the learning process.
DJ Littell wrote:The method by which a group can do this, I think, is to focus less on the sound and more on the intensity. You can't often capture the sound, but you can almost always mimic the aggression. This is why so many different syllables are used by so many different groups; it's to more accurately capture the subtleties of the rhythm and intensity of the song. Of course, complete reinterpretation can also enhance the song and move it in a new direction, but that's a whole different ball game. So, to better suit my tastes, I would say that groups should strive to mimic the intensity of a song while at the same time taking advantage of the fact that voices can be more dynamic than instruments. This requires much experimentation, but when you find the right syllables, and are really playful with what you are doing, the fun can enhance the song and make it much better than anything that can be done with standard instruments
Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments. http://www.dyz.com
The human voice is by far an easier instrument to control than any other instrument. Only the best musicians have complete control over their guitar or piano (I know this because I've played the piano for 12 years.) I might not have a good singing voice, but I can more easily control the use of legato, staccato, volume, and rhythm.
D.L.P.A wrote:Oh I wish I could. I auditioned for 2 a cappella groups and I just couldn't cut it. I'm a pretty lousy singer...
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