Blog, three days ago I turned 60, as the Americans would say. I uploaded a post here 6 years ago (at the tender age of 54) in which I noted, and lamented, the lightning speed at which Father Time travels. This is strange because you wouldn’t expect an aged, white haired bloke carrying a scythe to be in any way fast moving. And, even though I began that post with the words ‘I’m 54, but I won’t be for long,’ I didn’t think that 60 was, in fact, just around the corner. And, it’s a privilege to be 60, of course it is. My singing teacher (twenty years behind me) reminded me of this during my online lesson yesterday, when I whinged that I’d approached the ‘big’ 6 0 with dread; with almost an abject fear, knowing that now I can no longer make believe that I’m still in any way young and, besides, it’s most definitely all downhill from hereon in.
But enough. Yesterday my teacher and I listened to my latest recording, in which I had consciously tried to use breath control and dynamics. I tend to sing at the same volume throughout a song, there’s not much loudness and softness going on. I had wanted to remedy this and have been given breathing exercises etc. A couple of weeks ago my teacher had asked me who my favourite singer was and I couldn’t think of anyone – how alarming! This could be the nature of the zoom lessons, in that when asked any kind of question I sort of freeze, as though I’m taking part in a job interview, and not a friendly singing lesson (the rest of the time I don’t stop jabbering.) Of course, my stammer doesn’t help at all. Having had time to think, I suddenly realised that K D Lang (who I hadn’t thought of in years and who happens to be my age) was, and probably still is, the best female singer on the planet, or any other inhabited planet in the solar system. I told my teacher and she said how about singing one of her songs. Despite the fact that trying to emulate Ms Lang is a fools errand, and probably heresy too (since K D is a Goddess of Song) I decided to give Hallelujah a go, it also being a good vehicle on which to try and employ dynamics and breath control.
Hallelujah is one of those songs that’s been covered ad nauseum, but Ms Lang’s version remains the absolute pinnacle of perfection cover-wise and is the backing track I went with.