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BLACKBIRD FLY

We fell in love with this song by Volary and chose to cover it in the hopes of cheering up Sam. Follow her journey here: http://unfamousblog.tumblr.com/

Letting Go of Perfection

As I come to the end of a four-year recording project, I look back on vocal tracks I did two years ago versus a month ago. The difference is striking. After trying so many versions of the same song, I have come to understand something so fundamental but which has eluded me for years:


A good vocal track is not about being perfect.


I am a classically trained chorus girl ‘til the end. I’ve spent my entire musical career aiming to sound as perfect as possible. And while I have managed to make an impression on many, I know now that this attitude held me back from truly finding my voice and delivering my message.


To let go of perfection is to let go of fear.


I recently played at Volary’s (@unfamousblogmusic video release party. Keeping in mind the things I had learned during the recording process, I didn’t push my voice too hard, but instead let it settle into its “sweet spot”. I used my eyes to communicate with the audience, which instantly translated through my voice. I playfully played with dynamics, which kept my listeners’ interest.


Enveloping myself in the song’s message, my voice became expressive in a way that it never could if I simply thought “sing expressively”. I don’t know if I sang any wrong notes because there were no wrong notes.


The biggest difference though, was how firmly I now believed in the songs. In the past, I have often rushed through my tunes with the mindset that I have to fit in as many as possible before people get bored. But after recording them and hearing them with lush string arrangements, I knew that, as long as I hear those parts in my mind, the pared down versions would hold up. And they did! The trick was to not be impatient with them and to give them room to breathe.


True, many other factors came together to help create this magical set. The audience was extremely receptive and patient (there were plenty of technical delays which they happily drank through), and I had received a great introduction. But I would like to think that, should circumstances not be so forgiving, I would be just as confident in my delivery having learned these lessons.

11...errrr...22 questions

Tagged by vealchopy.  Then webnesto did it too and I wanted to answer those questions as well, so… this might get long.

Always post the rules.

Answer the questions asked, then write 11 new ones.

Tag 11 people and link them to the post.

Tell the person who tagged you that you’ve answered their questions.

And my questions to be answered:

vealchopy Questions:

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? This is a lot harder to answer than I expected. I’d want something that made me feel happy, and I never ever tired of, so I’m going with Tank Girl.

What’s one thing you did as a child that you still do but no one knows about? Do I have ANYTHING I do that no one knows about? I am rarely ever alone, and around some obscenely observant people. Hmmmm… sometimes I close my eyes and press on them gently, and watch the colors and shapes appear behind my eyelids until they form this one specific pattern which is really calming. I’m sure people have seen me do it, but I don’t know I’ve ever explicitly told them why.

How do you feel about scarves? I like scarves.

What is a moment in your life when you felt pure joy? I have a pretty joy filled life, even with all the hard things. I guess… watching my son play outside with his service dog when they first met, and hearing him laugh and bury his face in the dog’s fur. Or more recently, watching the daughter of webnesto jump on my son’s back before they both fell down laughing.

What are your favorite pair of shoes? My black Doc’s with the cherry blossoms embroidered on the sides.

Do you believe there is life on other planets? Yes, I do. I think our definition of life may be ill fitting to what is out there, but I do believe it’s there. 

Do you know the muffin man? Not personally, no. Maybe webnesto can swing my an introduction.

What tv show is your favorite guilty pleasure? Gossip Girl. I didn’t even have to think about it.

What craft or hobby do you wish you could take up? Needlepoint and cross stitching. I’m going to take it up. I just have to figure out a few other details first.

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? Why don’t my fingers work? Why am I trying to untie a shoelace while I’m still asleep? How did the child get knots in his laces AGAIN?!

What is your biggest pet peeve? I have clinical OCD. This is a really long list. Aside from that though, it’s currently when others try to make something my responsibility that isn’t.


webnesto Questions:

1. What scares you the most consistently, the most profoundly? The images my subconscious shows me when in the dreaming.

2. How would you explain your life to an alien? These belong to me. Yes. All of them.

3. What color is your underwear (right now)? Pink with black polka dots.

4. How uncomfortable did the last question make you? A little. I so rarely wear underwear it was really weird to realize I actually had an answer.

5. What do you miss most about being the you you were 10 years ago? I was two months pregnant, horribly ill, and living in 125F heat. I don’t miss FUCK ALL about the me ten years ago. Oh wait! I thought of something! I emailed my twin brother everyday back then. I miss him.

6. How do you hope your life has changed in 10 years? I want to own a house again. I want to know the trees and land I am caring for isn’t going to be taken away from me.

7. How do magnets even work? (no Googling) Magnetic force and electricity doing SUPER AWESOME SCIENCE STUFF.

8. If you had to chose between: Being stuck in a room for the rest of your life, with unlimited internet access forever and hundreds of virtual friends OR being free to travel wherever and whenever you want, but no one would ever engage you for a second conversation (or any conversation more than 10 minutes or so) for the rest of your life (assume that expenses aren’t an issue)? I would travel. Either would lead to my eventual suicide, I would like to see as many different places as I could before I died.

9. When you answer questions on the internet, do you answer them honestly or are they crafted to present an image of yourself or do you even know? Like here? Honestly. Things that are phishing for advertising purposes? I lie my ass off.

10. How badly do you wish I was asking simple questions like, “what’s your favorite color?”? Not at all.

11. What’s your favorite color? My favorite color is sparkly.

My Questions!!!

1. What color is the sky in your world? 

2. When you were little, what was the name you thought you would name your first child?

3. Do you still make wishes on your birthday?

4. Would you prefer to be alone for the right reasons or with someone for the wrong?

5. What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?

6. Do you smile at strangers?

7. What Jewel do you wear?

8. Cake or pie?

9. What is the last dream you remember?

10. Finish this sentence, “Do what thou wilt…”

11. Who do you kneel to?

Tagging (for fun only, no guilt allowed) vealchopy (for a never ending cycle of doom), mcphteven , maevariss , nikle-o-deon , webnesto (for a second never ending cycle of doom), r-0aming, squirrelmcpants, casuallycatastrophic, chinburd, evilfuckaire, volari

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