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Cosy Chaos

Being in the Artisan Clubhouse is quite a challenge. We are very fortunate to have everything set up for us with refreshments as usual, but the space available makes it very cosy with rows stretching to the back wall. After a bit of chaotic furniture moving, we were able to sit everyone in some way or another and start on time.

As we have now gone through all of the Act One songs, we revisited the trickier ones to refine them, starting with Mr Blue Sky.

We tightened up the rhythm on the verses ensuring that ‘sight’ is at the end of the bar.

Silences are golden and also important, especially in pop songs, so make sure that there

is a slight gap between ‘today’ and ‘Hey, hey’.

‘City’ is slightly longer when singing ‘…in the city’, whereas ‘pity’ is short as in ‘ … once was pity’

The Ba bas are sung straight the first time, and although the written notes are exactly the same, they are sung in a swing tempo the second time.

Straight time is very even; swing time is bouncier when the ‘ba bas’ are sung as a couplet.

Autumn Leaves followed. This is all about story telling.

Tenors tend to sing the same note for a period of time, so give it shape and make it melodic and not sounding boring like it does in Dropbox!

‘..yet’ is a moving note for Altos and Tenors, but Sops just hold their note, so watch Elliot for the note change and then the cut off so we all finish together.

Gradually get softer and quieter after ‘missed you most of all…’ and don’t slow down on ‘… start to fall’ at first time round. Second time round, at the very end of the song, it is only Sops that sing that phrase.

Eleanor Rigby was next. A very chaotic sounding song with a chain reaction. Keep calm and watch Elliot and once you come in at the right time, all will be well.

The Ahs should be given shape. Sops work on your first note as it is a little flat! It is the same note as the last one you sang on ‘care’.

It was at a church fete in 1957 that John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met. Just yards away lay the grave of scullery maid Eleanor Rigby, who had died, aged 44, in 1939. Nine years later, McCartney would pen the lyrics for what became one of the band's most celebrated songs.

Often described as a lament for the lonely, or a commentary on life in post-war Britain. But the reality is few knew of the grave's existence until the early 1980s, and McCartney himself has denied it was the inspiration behind the song.

Finishing with The Rainbow Connection. The music and lyrics written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher.

Paul Williams has said that his favorite lyrics in the song are "Who said that every wish/ Would be heard and answered/ When wished on the morning star?/ Somebody thought of that/ And someone believed it/ Look what it's done so far", because they imply that "there's power in your thoughts"

Elliot said all the notes are correct, it just needs the dynamics.

Crescendo into the’ Oh, so we’ve been told….’ and also on ‘… see’ making it get louder as the note finishes. It is not easy. Getting your breathing right is critical for this.

Crescendo on the ‘Ah’ into ‘What’s so amazing’ Get quieter leading into ‘… the lovers, the dreamers…’

The crescendos and decrescendos will make this song sound amazing.

Next week we start Act Two with three Christmas songs. They will be in Dropbox, so print them out and be ready.

We have done amazingly well in such a short space of time.

Keep up the good work.

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