A Capella Pieces

A few a cappella pieces have come out recently. It’s quite a challenge to get unaccompanied pieces right because normal instrumentation gives out such a huge variety of sonic color. Keep it short, is the general rule, and keep it varied. I hope I have done just that. Here’s two of them. I don’t quite know where they all fit in, but it was fun doing them.

GOODBYE

A little sad. But then goodbyes mostly are. It’s a simple piece transcribed from a guitar song. Yes, it could be a funeral, but then it could be someone leaving their country of origin (like I did) or young people packing off to college far away, or many other such partings. It would also be perfect for any stage act with decent singers to make this their last song of the night. Perhaps a real choir will sing it one day. That would be nice.

The Recording

This time I chose to use a choir sample library for the backing. I might have a crack at singing it someday. I was more interested in the fact that it was a “rubato” piece, that is with no strict tempo. So what I did was to play a guide note from the choir library then simply sing as I thought it should be sung – in and out of tempo. That way more feeling and emotion can be in the singing. After that, using my DAW of preference, Cubase, I matched the voice track with the MIDI information that drives the choir library.

FAERIE GARDEN

This is another guitar song. Don’t know why, but the words were always about a sinister group of faeries and goblins at the bottom of the garden. I know this is an old Victorian theme but I always try to write down words as they come and try not to filter. Yes, it was all a horrible dream. I’m so glad it wasn’t real!

The Recording

Transposing from guitar to keyboard is always time consuming because not everything transposes. This song is in tempo apart from two lines at the end of the two middle eights. All I did was to add another bar and then sing as if the tempo was dramatically slowing. I kept hearing foot stomps, which can be sinister. Also the breath (hhaa!) is just another sound variation that a choir can perform. I think it works well. I sang all the backing parts because I could hear the choir singing some of the words.