Great, the try-out of a new idea and a new program is planned. We have a date! A brand new program in which my signature mix and macht of different styles will be celebrated. More a concert than a theaterpiece, still with a bit of talk in between : My favourite things.
Good. So the idea is there, the date is there. What now?
Cue typical thinking of average Joe on this regard:
A couple of months of tv watching, shopping sprees and cosy lunches with friends. Some hours before the show, hair and makeup done, while zipping champagne in a bathrobe. A fabulous dress on and… it is done.
Ready to go on stage. After all, singing is a part of the human expression. We all hum some tunes every now and then. It’s that easy. Really.
NOT. GOD, NO.
The journey starts putting down 50 songs names that magically have to become 20 in a week.
The names sum up a schizofrenic encyclopedia of all you could sing in a concert: 500 years of vocal music condensed in 3 A4.
You feel like Russel Crowe in “A beautiful mind”: letters are bouncing back and forth, popping out from the paper, screaming : Me! Pick me!
Some letters start to pop up a bit more, some names in a threedimensional effect design in fluo charachters in front of your eyes what the ideal program should be.
After a week of unlocking codes and allucinating on them, who needs LSD when you have a program to put together, 25 names make the cut.
And then you let it rest, like the yeast in the dough.
You take a break, because in the meanwhile you also have a life to live, a child to feed, other programs to nurture.
After 2 days the 25 names need to become 20, needless to say that bit of Asperger in you is coming up at lightspeed, nasty like an hangover, all HAS to be simmetric.
A simmetric balance of happy songs, sad songs. A equal quota of opera songs, jazz-blues songs, folk songs. God forbid the program is not in balance.
I used to do it with pieces of papers on the floor, moving them around like domino tiles. Oh, not anymore. God bless Copy and paste, Cut and paste, and above all CTR Z.
Here comes another week of pro and cons, of putting in and taking away. You look at every possible angle, all possibilities. 4 of this, 4 of that. Block of this, block of that. Happy here, sad there. Major keys, minor keys. Germans to the left, spanish to the right.
There, finally it is picture perfect, like a painting of Rembrandt.
Let’s put it to the throat test. No, it is not a porn show 🙂
Your voice has to absorbe the program, has to assimilate and digest the order of the pieces in order to stay fresh and alert from beginning til the end. You need to sing it and sing til you know exactly the easy bumps, the difficult bumps, and you can navigate through them with easyness. Kind of the same work you would do in a marathon. You save energy and then you go full speed towards the finale.
Full of confidence you start that process thinking, well, now is just a matter of training.
(Fail button) . Wrooong 🙁
The perfect list starts to present some cracks, your only solution is to start again moving around stuff, like in an Ikea showroom gone wild. Extreme times require also extreme measures : you might need to kill a piece of 2. Like, Now. Time is of essence.
We are 2 weeks away from concert date, and things are looking grey.
And then…suddenly, the back and forth, the letting it rest, the redjusting, the going for a walk when the code cracking seems unbearable, finally stops. One day, you are rehearsing with the compassionate soul following the nutcase you have become, and everything FINALLY make sense.
Ok. Exale. We can make music now.
We can give to the public what they want. An effortless, just-out-of-bed relaxed performance which will make them wonder why are they even reading this article about craziness. `Til it’s over and then….(like the song says):
It’s nice and quiet
But soon again
Starts another big riot”