I’ve been wrestling with the video footage we took at our gig at the museum. It seemed such a simple idea, putting a little film on the site to give an idea of the performance.
It’s great, the video – but not ideal. It was shot on a tablet and we were too loud for the microphone so I had to enhance the sound to make it sound like the choir. The full set is half an hour – it’s a daunting amount of video to edit and would be a huge file so I had to search for the best bits.
I’ve finally got the best bits of four songs (our favourites, the real belters, did not do themselves justice) and you can see the video here.
I made some interesting discoveries watching the footage – first of all I realised that I don’t stand as straight as I thought. I bend my knees and wander about a bit so that I look as though I’m herding cats.
My beat is not as clear, as vertical as I would like. It could be better. We’re about to embark on something rhythmically demanding so I am practising in front of a camera!
The other important thing that emerged was that my highlights included the second or third verse of every song. None of the actual beginnings were spot on. Words and notes took a while to become clear. In the worst, it took half a line before it was clear what key the song was in, and even the best were not as good as subsequent verses.
Terry Pratchett once described the difference between European and American people as this:
A European says: I can’t understand this person, what’s wrong with me? An American says: I can’t understand this person, what’s wrong with him?
The choral American is the choir leader who belabours the choir and itemises their failings without helping them to do better. I watch that video and know that it’s my responsibility to give clear, quick, signals that everyone understands and responds confidently. It’s my job to rehearse in a way that means the start of every song is as good as the ending.
So that’s something to work on this year. Here’s to new beginnings!