Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's all in who you know...

As I was sitting in a gorgeous sanctuary Friday night rehearsing a beautiful, religious Oritorio about Christ, I couldn't help but laugh at the irony.

Last Friday:

I was in a bar singing Pat Benetar


I got to be part of a choir of 60 hand picked voices to record "Lamb of God"; an oratorio depicting "the Passion", written by Rob Gardner, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra.  The caliber of the voices and the musicianship in that room was RIDICULOUS (and the coolest part to me was...probably close to 1/2 of them were actual good friends of mine, or people I've associated with)!  It was really an honor to be a part of.  And that church we recorded in......WOW!  The acoustics were AMAZING!

Ok, the blond right on the end in the 2nd row....she was DUE today with her first baby. She was eleventy months pregnant and totally doing this recording.  If you've been that pregnant, you know that breathing is NOT easy.  She was having contractions through the whole recording, and yet she trooped on.  Also, she was the Galinda understudy on Broadway for a long time(just a cool little tid bit of info for ya).  Right next to her is my sis. in law Lana, and above them are my two sisters Dana and Jenny.  What?  You didn't know I have a ridiculously talented family?  Well....I DO!  Also singing was Jere, my bro. in law Adam and my bro. Porter.

That little twiglet of a guy conducting is Rob, the writer and creator of the work.  His talents and abilities are somewhat ridiculous!  I am always in awe of people that just have music in their heads.  I am happy to sing what you've written, but honestly, I have NOTHING in my head that is creative.

The shots of me sitting were just so disturbing I couldn't include them.  But heres we are singing away.  You can see Jer right behind me, and next to him is Adam.  It was quite an interesting experience having headsets on.  Singing to a HUGE orchestra, and trying to hear your part around you as well.  And earphones do NOTHING for my hair, I'll tell you that much.  I looked a hot mess when all was said and done.  BUT, 'tis the price I was willing to pay to be a part of this.  My name will be on CD liner notes...HELLO!  Cool!

Right in the center of this pic in the white t-shirt is my brother Porter.  Rob is actually one of his best friends.  They were in an acapella group called 259 for several years (google 'em, I dare ya.  They actually made some good cd's that I still love to listen to).

So Saturday was the actual recording day.  We got there around 9:30 and worked until 5:15.  I will not lie, even if I had been in perfect was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done.  You stand and you sing these songs over, and over, and over, and OVER!  We'd finish a take and Rob would say.."that is PERFECT, Except for ONE thing."  And then, we'd do the whole thing over.  Or we'd start, and suck and have to stop and do again.  It is just A LOT of work to record anything.  Especially if you want perfection, which is what Rob is looking for.  As well he should, I mean, he paid BUTTLOADS of money to have the London Symphony, plus the recording of this, and then the mixing, making, marketing....all of it.  But really, as we were doing take 1000 on something yesterday, and I was trying my darndest not to cough, all I could think was...."yep, I would NOT do well in movies or tv."  I have no patience for having to redo the same thing over and over.  I just like to do it and be done with it.  Perhaps that is WHY I do theatre, no re-dos.

So, quick story.  As I mentioned, I've got a "touch" of the sick.  I have a cough, a ton of congestion and in general, just not so much.  I was really worried about "ruining" this recording.  And there were quite a few times that I just couldn't sing certain sections 'cause I needed to be unison and quiet and straight toned.  Well, I had FAR too much crap on my chords to be able to do it.  So anyway, we started this song, and about 2 seconds in I could feel this total crap storm in my throat.  I needed to cough so bad.  So, I literally just held my breath and covered my mouth and held it as tight as I could until the song ended (which for the record seemed like FOREVER).  As soon as Rob motioned it was ok to make noise, I literally GASPED for air and started a coughing fit that lasted a good long time.  Everyone laughed and Rob congratulated me for hanging on.  It was AWFUL.  But, at least I didn't ruin that take.  Seriously....lame!

Anyway, moral of this story is funny.  One week you're rockin the "heartbreaker" and the next your singing praises to God, making a recording that will literally change lives.  Sometimes I have to marvel at the uniqueness of my life.  But mostly I'm just grateful for amazing people and good friends in my life that make things like this possible!

The CD will be available in September.  I'll let you know as the time draws closer.  In the meantime you can check out his website for any info. on his other work.

Choirs and coughs,



Jere the Hottie said...

Truly one of the most amazing experiences EVER!! Rob caaled this afternoon and said that he went down just to listen to a few things and that it sounds incredible. He said he's really happy how things turned out and is excited to get it into the next phases. =)

the shoafs said...

oh no you did NOT just dare me....psssh...., here i come ;)

and i am in awe of anyone who can sing. i, too, am quite an accomplished singer. why just yesterday i gave a rousing rendition of "Jesus loves me" to ava girl and she DIDN'T cover her ears! (of course, she hasn't learned that skill yet, but whatevs).

i sang "house of the rising sun" for karaoke once....did you guess that it was in my not-so-sober days? the one and only public singing venture for me. never to be repeated. ever. in fact, they banned me!

btw...send your old pal aLison an autographed copy so i can brag to my friends and i know someone!

Angie Dean said...

At this very moment I could poke your eye out due to jealosy. Ahhh, there moment passed. I'm so glad I have you and Jere, Dana, Lana, Porter and Jenny in my circle of influence. I can at least say I'm friends with the friends of someone uber talented. With friends like mine who needs frenemies.

Greg and Tammy said...

Dear Allyson,

Thanks for the recap. It twas a fun day, wasn't it?


PS - I'm stealing your pics for my blog. :) Thanks.

deveney said...

What a cool thing you got to be a part of. And yes, you DO have an uber talented family! :) Rob is amazing! It's maybe a little embarrassing how much I listen to his other recordings, but they are so amazing, and spiritual, and just peaceful. I can't wait for this one be available to buy and add to my collection!

Crandell Fam said...

So amazing! I just want to steal your post and put it on my blog... can I?? :) So glad I got to be a part of that!

DianD said...

I can hardly wait to hear it! And, can I just say what a proud Mama I am that so many of my chicks and chicks-in-law were included in this marvelous musical oppportunity! So glad Rob continues to write and produce his music. He truly is talented!