Tag Archives: English

The Letter and the Aeroplane

“The only thing I ever told that young man to do was sing ‘aeroplane’ instead of ‘airplane’ on ‘The Letter’— I was just tryin’ to make it flow better.”

Dan Penn, producer.

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Clapping Music: Steve Reich and Santi Carcasona

I caught Steve Reich, on the BBC here, talking about the Brussels Flamenco Show that inspired his 1972 Clapping Music. The flamenco was dismal, until the Spanish performers began to mark time with complicated clapping patterns, entrancing Mr Reich in the process. Which led me, in a wonderful ‘completing the circle’ way, back to Spain and to Catalan Percussionist Santi Carcasona:

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Music Moves

Singing is a 3D activity. When you’re performing an English song, live or on YouTube, your international audience ‘reads’ you and your movements, closely. Your movements help your audience decide whether to relax and trust you. To let your voice into their hearts.

Remember this and remember Tommy Krångh:

Tommy says:

“I am always all in. I want to give the whole experience of the music. I have to give my whole body. When I get on the stage the music is pumping and I lose myself. I don’t know what’s happening. I am totally lost in the moment – but somehow I still know what exactly I am doing.”

The movements you make signal, more clearly than you might think, whether you believe, feel and understand the words that you’re singing. Or not.

The University of Oslo have put togetherFutureLearn course, starting on February 1st, all about the relationship between movement and music. It’s free and available to anyone, anywhere in the world:

© Sing Better English, 2016

Wild Thing

It’s 1966. The Kinks’ manager gives you a chance to record Chip Taylor‘s Wild Thingone take only, on borrowed time. It’s a song of few words. Choose one and pour your heart into it. Groovy? Love?  Or the vaguer, more intriguing wild? Choose well or you’ll be back on the building site forever.

By the way – don’t be fooled by the stripy fancy dress in the video. There’s a bricklayer’s heart beating desperately beneath it:

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