Music, Muse and Marvel (by )

Marvel Comic plectrums

I am 33 yrs old - for my 30th it was decided that I would attempt the music I had never really had the chance to do. Al got me the Purple Vin and a tone of plectrums. I was going to and indeed started singing lessons. But really I have not done as much as I had hoped.

I've sung 4 times, five if you include my own birthday bash (not including campfire singing here) and my guitar practice is sketchy at best.

Alaric got me a microphone for the valentines just after we moved in here - so 2012 - and I have been producing songs which are slowly ending up on my bandcamp page - this really got going when I got a place on a song writing workshop with Paul Murphy. To date we have:

Windy Gloucestershire which I won the creative olympics bronze medal for song writing:

I Want To Know About Everything - which is about science:

Shy - which is actually my poem set to the hammond organ we accidently bought instead of a bed settee.

Bubble of Bone - where I muck around with the echo and zynergy charms

Ivy - I kind of wanted this one to be a dance track but it kind of is a fragment instead - a ghost of what it could be.

I knew Him So Well - where I experimented with putting a half there narrative over the top.

Flowing - a song about war and one I sung at the open mic at Wychwood

Firey Redemption - a song and painting I produced in response to the homophobic attacks and discrimination in general - both voices are me and I wanted it to sound similar to Billy Holliday in a little shake recording naked sound - I know most people do not like this song - I however am happy with it - it says what I want.

Hey You - I actually wrote this whilst at school as a 'protest song' when I found out in GCSE business studies that women could expect to earn less than men for the same job - plus general teenage punk 'where do I fit in society' - I decided to add in a disjointed thrash/death metal voice as well.

Love Song From The Gutter - what it says - about childhood discovery of love that can't happen. It is a twin to Bubble of Bone and I think it still needs a backing.

Little Ghost on Parade - which is about prostitution and living on the edge but still fighting for a future.

Summer Sun - a love song for walking around Gloucester with my husband 🙂 It needs guitar backing or something still.

I have a couple of other songs to come yet that involve drums, me singing three parts and the guitar etc... But there is a real issue - I have lost my ability to sing one my own in front of people - ok so the on my own has always been a bit of an issue but I swear it's a lot worse now :/

I went and did a couple of lessons and joined a group at Centre Arts but things where too complicated at the time as it was around when we were trying to move and I was still on crutches and stuff.

So you can imagine Al's surprise when I started to sing and sing and sing the song Let It Go from the Design Film Frozen. I announced that I was going to an audition for the Gloucester Pride with the group Jean does her drama with. And I got the song sound LUSH - really dam hot. My throat kept closing up when I thought of people though, so I got Jean to sit and be a staring audience and at first I struggled and then it was good and then I got Al to join in and the same. I even worked out bits of it for the guitar - gave up looked on the internet and amended someone elses chords until I was happy with it but discarded the guitar as I'm not at the point where I can sing and play well enough at the same time. I focused on singing it my way...

And it was fab.

And I have the perfect outfit.

Then I got to the audition and I was shaking, I stared at the page of words and could not look up and I squeaked my way through the song. And I mean squeak - the power and depth had gone, most of the notes where in tune (I think though wobbly). I think I croaked on one of them though and so on.

I apologised and they were lovely and put on backing music and I sang it lower in my 'camp fire' voice and they said I was much stronger in my lower register (not as low as I sing Firey). But I'm sure I don't sing in tune in camp fire voice - my mum always used to moan about it when I sang like that and it kind of doesn't take any effort and is almost talking. I'm also still not sure I'll be able to sing it infront of people.

SO it was a bit of a flop - on the other hand I am singing with other for the event and that is great 🙂 I have missed MTSoc (Musical Theatre) since leaving Imperial and until I moved to Gloucestershire I was always singing. I can't read music and I don't understand the technical side of things - I have confidence issues over it all due to being told in primary school that real musicians do not play by ear and having started off thinking music was something you felt as I initially could not hear as a small child and so on.

Anyway I have been trying to sing the Frozen song lower with the result of a scary Nick Cave style version earlier that made Mary very cross - she didn't like my high version of Let It Go either - she likes the Camp Fire voice as long as I don't hit and wrong notes - she sulks if I do and starts singing over me.

For a 3 yr old she is amazing at tonal stuff.

Anyway I have always gone with confronting my fears - scared of heights become a climbing instructor, dyslexic - become a writer, social anxiety? chronic shyness? - get your bum on stage.

The photo at the top of the post is my new plectrum collection - or rather what has already arrived - I broke my second to last one at the weekend and kind of found that you can now get really amazing ones - they are all the different Marvel Comic book character ones 😀 I am still awaiting, shiny, sparkly ones, space themed ones and dragons. I kind of didn't realise how many there were but am happy especially as Jeany has asked to start learning again so she can have a plectrum - good job I got an extra pack so it wont break my set up then 😉 Also this means Comic Book Plectrum Jewellery - three of my past times in one thing 😀

(Don't worry Clare the last plectrum is the wonderful engraved silver one you got me!).


  • By Clare, Thu 29th May 2014 @ 2:06 pm

    Lol and yay for the silver plectrum! BTW the two types of voices you are describing are your head voice and your belting voice. I'm still working on fixing the disconnect between the two in my voice - it involves singing somewhat nasally. I can also sing higher than I used to in my belting tone as well, it just takes technique and practice. 🙂

  • By sarah, Thu 29th May 2014 @ 9:15 pm

    hee 🙂 I've kind of forgotten what I did know about technique!

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