Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nashville - Day 3

Wednesday is done. That means the rest of the week will fly by, and then we're half done. And I still can't figure out shape notes!

Today was awesome. I'm going to start with our concert tonight, which was by Stephen Hill. I've seen him on the Gaither videos, and I must confess that I wasn't too excited. He did some songs with back-ups tracks, and there were some good songs. Then he pulled out his guitar, and I was hooked. He did acoustic blues gospel, and I loved it! It reminded me of the kind of stuff Gerald and I do. Partly cause he plays a Taylor, but also cause he took some great classics, like He's Got the Whole World, and made a new arrangement of it. It was a really awesome performance. Very bluesy and cool. All I needed was a rum and coke. Funny... they don't serve them here!

I want to tell you a little about 'group singing'. We do this for 3 hours a day. We have a book of 'convention' songs, which are all Southern gospel songs, old and new, written in four part harmony. The melodies are simple, but the harmonies are complex, often breaking into counterpoint. For the un-musically minded, that means that everyone is singing something completely different, all at the same time. They are not long songs, but very wordy, and sometimes very fast. So in group singing, we sight-read these songs, and as the week goes on, we are starting to polish some pieces. It's a great sight-reading group, so the work is good. Imagine a choir of 250 singers, all singing four part harmony. That's what I get to do 3 hours a day.

Next week, Ben will bring in his recording stuff and we'll cut a cd of 10-12 of the pieces. Can't wait for that!

I must go to bed soon, but I'm still struggling with my songwriting assignment. I've done it correctly six times, but my lyrics are crap {excuse my language!}. So, I'm off to struggle with it some more before I go to sleep.

Oh, one more thing - I've met a singer/accompanist who's going to play for me, but she's also asked if I'd try singing some of her songs! Cool! And that's why I came - to learn, to meet other musicians, and to get better at what I do. Amen!

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