firstly. disclaimer. I'm not a great singer. I just like music and singing a lot.
When I was young, like so many young girls I took up the violin.. and I was crap. Not just because I didn't practice, I was actually just really bad at it. To play stringed instruments, I have realised, you have to have a certain knack, and I just simply didn't have that knack.
One day, really randomly when I was 14, I heard a piece of music my mum was playing in her room by an orchestral group called nightnoise. The piece playing, I later found out, was called 'Hugh' and I don't know what compelled me as I'd never done it before but I took the liberty of sitting at my mum's electric keyboard, putting on the headphones then began playing around just to see if I could play it. 30 minutes later I ask my mum to come listen to something - both her and my dad thought I had recorded it and pretended to play it as a joke. Never before had I had a lesson or even showed much interest in the piano and suddenly here I am playing both hands to a piece of music I heard for the first time only half an hour before. Since then music has been my bag.
When I was 16 I came to Utah to visit my aunt and uncle who are both opera singers. I had just quit 6th form and didn't know what to do with my life but was considering pursuing music. All I had was some ability to work out music on the piano by ear and grade 2 violin.. nothing at all really.
I stayed for 3 months and on the last Saturday of my stay my uncle tells me to have a quick singing lesson just for fun.. (I thought it was a joke). He took me to the piano and told me to pretend as though I was an opera singer and did some scales with me. After that my aunt and uncle both said I should take up singing and that I could probably study it as my first instrument.
Long story short, I did just that and I took the next year having singing lessons, piano and music theory lessons and then the following year studied music and music technology at college and fully loved it!!
I've attempted to audition for various conservatoires in the UK since but I think the timing just wasn't right. I lasted 2 months at Southampton Uni for a music degree and in recent years got a little lost on my ambitions mainly, I think, due to a lack of confidence, and teams of self doubt. But in hindsight I think a massive part of things not working out was because I wasn't meant to settle in England and I was always meant to come to Utah at some point again.
Good news is I think I'm just starting to find my way back. Before Christmas I auditioned and got into a semi professional choir and have also joined a choir for a production of 'the lamb of god' on this side of the valley, showing in March. On top of this, and for me most excitingly, my uncle has started giving me lessons and has shone a massive revelation on the way I've been singing up til now. He told me that my instrument is asking for something different than what I've been giving it and things have begun to click.
I'm still a really bad piano player and struggle to read music but I know I have an ear for it and can compose so I hold on to that. We don't have a piano at the moment so it's hard to work on that side of things, but thankfully my voice is portable. I am also so grateful to have married Juan Carlos who is a musical and compositional genius. Even just being around and being able to share in his musicality has helped inspire me to pay more attention to my own music.
When 'The Oratorio Anthology' that Juan had ordered came through the post today I got incredibly excited and started practicing and studying straight away. To sit in my bed with a piece of Bach, my iPod and a pencil feels so, so great. I'm very excited and think I've finally started to find my way back.. (really fighting not to make a pun about Bach and having finding my way back!!!!) ahhhhh.. music I've missed you!!
It's nice to have you Bach;)
Sorry. Couldn't help it.
Discussion, Meditation and Prayer.
I know it's a little late in coming but at least we're still in January so 'Happy New Year!'. There are so many expectations for when the old year is coming to a close and the start of a new one is on the horizon. Lists and lists of overambitious goals are made by millions of us across the globe. Myself included. But, this year I'm taking a slightly different tack.
Just before New Years, Juan and I went out for Lunch with the in-laws. We went into the mountains and stopped at potato hill on the way back. The day was spectacularly beautiful, snow still gathered in small clumps across the pathways and the view of Utah was breathtaking (quite literally, it was freezing!!). With the view of the city so vast, it provided a good place to contemplate the events of a year passed and an even better place to conjure up our goals and desires for the year to come through discussion, meditation and prayer.
There are things I really want to achieve this year but I always get frightened of making 'official' goals in the fear that officiating them 'jinxes' any possibility of actually achieving them. So I have decided that I have 1) hopes for the future and 2) casual resolutions.
Casual resolutions/goals include;
- Be able to speak a whole, coherent, two-way conversation in Spanish by the end of the year.
- Use yoga and meditation as a way of calming my busy thoughts and tightening my body.
- Work on my singing.
- FaceTime friends and family more.
I think these are all super achievable side goals to our real hopes for 2017.
This year is going to be an interesting year. Another interesting year should I say. We have some big things ahead, things of spiritual growth and things of economic growth and we have yet to plan our trip to England (the first time I will have been back since getting married). And maybe most excitingly, Juan and I are working at moving into our own place. So let's wait and see what the year holds..
Brit. U.S.resident. Lover of Opera. Believer of dreams.