Today’s single is something I’ve been guarding since last January, and I’m really excited to finally release it. It works as a companion to yesterday’s single, but is on the prettier side of things, and can be played on its own. If there’s a governing theme to this entire Benefit, it’s that every release should answer a question about Brothers and Sisters. This whole thing’s a bit of an experiment, as I’m not really certain how much money can be raised, or how many people can be reached, but it’s a start. I am constantly aware that I can’t beat epilepsy with this fundraiser, but that hardly seems to be the entire point either. In a effort to make good on my goal of doing good in the world, today I’d like to teach you how to sing.
I’ve been teaching something or the other for over twenty years, and have been singing my whole life, yet I’ve only ever given two vocal lessons. They went remarkably well. This had less to do with my teaching, as I was more of a coach because both of today’s featured musicians are fearless artists on their own. About a year and change ago, I had the pleasure of coaching sister Liz Bustamante and brother Stephen Sowley separately, and we worked on some basic techniques to strengthen the voice. It was a pretty intense crash-course that involved ten minutes of instruction, and then while listening to yesterday’s single, “Haunt the Room” b/w “Eid’n” (21:12), they improvised their vocals and sang for twenty-one minutes and twelve seconds straight. It’s not a method for the faint of heart. We held these sessions at Caffeinated Recordings and brother Jim Birch ably engineered and documented the results. Salut.
“VOX first” b/w “VOX second” (21:12) is what the above vocals would sound like when played together. When I coached Liz and Sowley for those two half-hours, we touched on three things in their lessons: the sweet voice, the tuba voice and vocal rhythm. Sweet voice, tuba voice, rhythm. Sweet voice, tuba voice, rhythm. There are thousands of ways to teach singing, as the human voice is easily the most expressive musical instrument, and we had to keep it simple. The sweet voice and tuba voice are how you sing vowels (melody) and the rhythm is how you sing consonants (rhythm). Liz and Sowley are exceptional cases, as they’re honest to goodness rockers, through and through. (understatement) However, even with all of our voices, there’s a lot of imperfection in “VOX” that gives it some earthly charm. So if you’re interested in learning how to sing, take into heart the sweet voice, tuba voice and rhythm and sing, whistle or hum along. This one’s pretty pretty.
February 4th, 2015
released February 4, 2015
Vocals by Liz Bustamante, Faiz Razi and Stephen Sowley
Recorded by Jim Birch at Caffeinated Recordings