>Last year I sang a few pieces for a local composer’s demo recording, for a dvd project of his own works. This weekend we all got together again to participate in the video. It was a bit like making a music video for MTV; I stood under bright, hot lights in a basement studio and lip-synced along to a recording of my own voice, while two cameramen filmed me doing so — one camera fixed to a tripod, the other hand held and used for distracting things, like circling around me as I sang. Each piece required several run-throughs to be filmed and edited; the whole thing took the better part of two afternoons.
There is certainly something odd about singing along to your own voice (or speaking, as in one of the pieces I spoke about 3 minutes of text) — you can’t really, intellectually remember how many nanoseconds you paused between each sentence or how long you held a word, especially in a recording done 10 months ago. But, subconsciously, you do it pretty much the same, because that’s the way you do it.
Of course, listening to one’s own voice isn’t easy to begin with. Anyone who’s heard their own voice on an answering machine knows that inner wince. And singers are no better. We are constantly critiquing ourselves — that sounds like crap, that I could sing better — even when it’s fine. But when you reach the point where you can accept yourself as you are on this day, at this point in your life, then you can begin to relax about it and enjoy what you’re doing.

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