iReview: Joanne – Lady Gaga

Okay. Hi.

You know what I’ll just skip the ramblings to the end of this post, because 1) I’ll be boring off half of my potential readers and 2) I’m too lazy to even begin writing them tbh. Oh and 3) we have an emergency on our hands and it is that LADY FUCKING GAGA HAS JUST RELEASED HER FIRST POP ALBUM SINCE 2013, A DAY I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE WELL 2013. All the anticipation has built up to this point, and I can not be more ready. FUN FACT: last year in April, I opened my diary at a random page and marked it down, saying THIS is when I will hear LG5. That day was October 22nd. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a psychic. I honestly, HONESTLY still don’t believe this day has come.

HIT ME WITH ‘EM, GAGA.

In this post, I will be doing a track-by-track review/reaction to Lady Gaga’s newest studio album, Joanne, out October 21st. Its title references Gaga’s middle name, and her late aunt who passed away in 1974 because of lupus after she had been sexually assaulted. This is Gaga’s most stripped back, personal album yet, according to her.

So…

HEEEEERE WE GO! (yes yes I have heard A-YO already.)

iReview: Joanne – Lady Gaga

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1- Diamond Heart:

Let’s go omfg

Is this a piano?

YOUNG WILD AMERICAN ALREADY ICONIC

YYYYYAAAAAAAAASSSSSS GOGO’IN go back to those roots Gags

Asshole broke her in? Rape?..

THAT HOOK

IM SHOOK

YOUUUUUNG WIL AMERICAAAAAAAAAN I KNEW ITS ICONIC

Wait Diamond Heart isn’t about her engagement ring? Right…

Can we talk about her vocals? Where do you hear vocals like these on any female album these days. SH00K

YAAAASSSS BRIDGE

I always said I hate guitar+drums driven songs but this is FUCKING GOOD

Maybe because it’s Gaga and I’m biased but YES

Amazing way to start the album.

2- A-YO:

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa we go

Blow it ur face

Blow it in ur face

Blow it in ur blow it in ur face

This is so FUN. YES.

The beat sounds familiar but in the good way.

AYO AYO

WE SMOKIN EM ALL

A.k.a the Chainsmokers who had shit to say about her in the press. What’s good? She ended those rats. Anyway.

You can’t NOT dance to this song! My body is involuntarily shaking.

SLAYO SLAYOH

A

YO

AYO

This is a BOP.

3-Joanne:

Okay… I did not expect these ‘drumsies’.

Wait where is the piano? THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR

Why is this melody so… Uplifting? Her aunt just died.

Girl… Where do you think you’re goin’? (with this melody)

This sounds… Off. It’s a song about her aunt who died… It should feel sadder. It made people cry. Why am I not crying? I’M HERE TO CRY.

The chorus is really beautiful though, no question.

Alright, the more I listen to this song… I get it. The emotion is ‘implicit’. Her vocal delivery was done in one take according to her. I can feel her pain.

I need to give her a hug.

 

4- John Wayne:

BYE BYE HUG

HELLO JOHN WAYNE (btw notice how it sounds like ‘Joanne’ ‘John Wayne’ is this intentional?)

THAT SCREAMMM YASS MAMA

GO FASTER

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

I DID NOT SEE THAT CHORUS COMING

OH NO OH NO

ITS HAPPENING

MY WEAVE IS BEING SNATCHED

EVERY FOLLICLE

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS THE CHORUS AGAIN I STILL HAVENT RECOVERED FROM THE FIRST TIME

Hands down my favorite so far.

I WAS NOT READY FOR THIS BRIDGE

NO

UGHHHHHHHHHHHH THIS FEELS LIKE A MOVIE CLIMAX

I want to scream JOHN WAYNE with her but my parents are sleeping so

Please hire this producer for the entirety of the next album

5- Dancin’ In Circles:

WHAT

WHAT IS THIS

WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO HIT ME WITH THIS FAME MONSTER THROWBACK??a!?!??qSJHA

This feels like a Sia song. I LOVE A SIA SONG.

The prechorus! Amazing.

YES THE HOOK AGAIN

LET’S FUNK DOWNTOWN

Am I the only one who feels like these songs are going way too fast? Like I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO PROCESS THE SLAYAGE

Gaga thank you for this So Happy I Could Die 2.0 yes thanks yes

Vanish as I touch myself? THAT CUTESY VOICE FAMEGA IT IS REALLY YOU

OOOOOOHHHHH THE FUCKING HIGH NOTES AT THE END

SSSSSSHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

This is such a dancey song. I LIVE.

6- Perfect Illusion:

AND HERE COME THE GUITAR RIFFS

AAAAEEIINWWHHHH

One month later and this song is still amazing. Of course you’d know that if I fucking UPDATED MY BLOG THEN but oh well.

IT WASN’T LAAAAAAAAAAAAHV

IT WASN’T LAAAAAAAAAAAAHV

IT WAS A PERFECT ILLUSION

Like some people actually don’t like this.

HOW.

BE ASHAMED.

And now the part with the background vocals that slay the entire universe

IN A MODERN ECSTASY

Her vocals are just UGH. I remember when I heard this the first time when it was released and how amazed I was.

GAGA

IS

BACK.

AND HERE COMES THE KEYCHANGE OF THE CENTURYYYYYYYYYY

And my favorite part: *dumdumdumdumdum* IILLLUUSIOOOOOONNNN

Still slays. Ugh.

7-Million Reasons:

Another one I have already heard a lot, and memorized.

Can we just appreciate this stripped back Gaga? We all asked for it. She might not be here for long so enjoy ha while she lasts.

The emotion in her voice is breathtaking. And that chorus hits you like one of her 5 vintage cars.

The best thing about this song for me is how I can sing the background vocals with her. I love background vocals. I feel special when I sing them. No I cannot explain this.

STAAAAAAAAYAHAAAAAAAAAAAAYAAAAAAAHAAAAY

Breaks my heart to her her crying out like this. I’LL MEND UR BROKEN HEART MOM

Her voice…

Her fucking voice.

8- Sinners’ Prayer:

Lol sounds like Dangerous Woman is about to start

BUT THIS AINT NO DANGEROUS WOMAN

IT’S A DANGEROUSLY SLAYFUL BASSLINE

YES. I LIVE.

The vibe of this song is so captivating.

THE CHORUS. Can we just appreciate the chorus? WOW. It takes you on a ride in a few seconds. The melody changes from cheerful to somber back to hopeful then again to dark IN A MATTER OF SECONDS.

WOW

I am so impressed with this. And some people dismissed it as a ‘country song’.

Man, this album may just make me listen to country.

‘I can carry you but not your ghosts’. Tumblr here we come

YESSSS GO UP THAT OCTAVE

Goodasgoodasgoodasgoodasgoooooooooooooooooooooooooooold

Beautiful song.

And this BASSLINE AGAIN. YES.

9- Come To Mama:

Okay the title already has me shook.

YES BORN THIS WAY TEAS LYRICSWISE

Wait what jungle? Gags wyd

Gogogogggoround

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

COME TO MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

YES THE BACKGROUND VOCALS IN THE CHORUS

Comeontomammma

Commonmmaammmaaaa

Wow. WOW. The lyrics though!

She’s talking about a scientist vs. a believer… The scientist = uses prism in physics. The believer = he believes in Noah’s arc (not really though but okay). But both result in… Rainbows! YES GAGAAAAAAAAA

THIS SONG IS SO MARIAH CAREY

HOLIDAYSY

AND I LOVE IT

Wait 3 verses?

THE ONLY PRISONS THAT EXIST ARE ONES WE PUT EACH OTHER IN

TAKE THAT TUMBLR. QUOTE THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HER VOCALS

LOOK WHAT THAT RAINBOW DID

The ending. This IS Mariah Carey ugh YES

IM COMING MAMA

10- Hey Girl (featuring Florence Welsh):

3 SECONDS IN AND IM MOVING LIKE A CHARMED SNAKE

THIS BEAT. THIS BEAAAAAAAT

OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD

FLORENCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

HER VOCALS ARE AMAZING AS ALWAYS

FIT SO BEAUTIFULLY WITH THIS SONG I CANT IM SHOOK SO SHOOK YESSS SHOOK

Their voices go so well together!

AND THIS FUCKING MELODY IT PUTS ME IN A TRANCE WOW JUST WOW I CANT STOP SWAYING

Personal thank you to Florence who probably is responsible for the amazing harps in this.

Does anyone notice the amazing strange synths in the background?!

Yep in the second chorus they are more than noticeable.

ARE THEY SINGING TOGETHER?!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

OH MY GOD FLORENCE’S BACKGROUND VOCALS OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD SHE SOUNDS OTHERWORDLY

This fucking song. The melody. The production. The message. The two FUCKING BADASSES SINGING IT.

THE BACKGROUND FORENCE OH’S ONCE AGAIN AHHHH

Iconic.

11- Angel Down:

And here come the emotions. This is about Trayvon Martin.

Yep. The intro alone is amazing.

WOW HER VOICE. IT SOUNDS LIKE SHE’S WHISPERING MY EAR.

I need a moment. I’m in awe.

Okay. Who produced this? I love you.

The lyrics are so touching. With that production, man I feel like going on a midnight walk and crying.

The chorus is unexpected. The sounds are angelic. This is not your regular ballad. This is much more.

GAGA GOES LANA. I’M SO HERE FOR IT. OOOHOOOHOOOO

OHHH ‘CHAOS’! CHAOS ANGEL! THESE WERE NOT RUMORS! OMG

Wow. What just happened?

The outro… it’s like a broken music box… I love this so fucking much.

WHOW THERE IT JUST ENDED SO ABRUPTLY.

Is it like a metaphor to sudden death?

Oh Joanne…

12- Grigio Girls:

This is the song about her best friend Sonja having cancer… here it goes.

Wait she’s that much older? 12 years? She looks much younger…

Okay… I kind of expected a bigger chorus…

The production sounds like it’s struggling to pick up. A shame. The lyrics are beautiful.

Watch your blues turn gold…

Make it all make sense…

Yep here are the feels.

AWWWWWWW SHE IS SO CUTE IN THAT BRIDGE

YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS THE SQUAD IS HEREEEEEEEEEE

Why do they sound like they have swallowed helium?

Lol of course Gaga had to outsing them all.

SQUAD GOALZZZZZZZ

Okay there’s a laugh at the end that is just creepy as fuck.

13- Just Another Day:

Yes this is the one I heard her sing live on the radio!

BACK TO HER RED AND BLUE ROOTS AND I’M SO SURPRISED I LOVE IT SO MUCH! YES!

This song is just so cute oh my god!

And after all… it’s just another day!

Okay tho but is that like a sax, a guitar, a synth, a dying cockroach…

YESSSSSSS BRIAN’S TRUMPETS SOUND SO GREAT

I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH YAS GAGA VOCALS MAMA

I can just imagine her smiling and singing this in her studio. She’s happy. I’m happy.

14- Angel Down (Work Tape):

Oh, a more stripped down piano/guitar version. I like that! I wish there was one for Joanne.

I confess I like the original better, the production really adds to it.

BUT.

VO

FUCKING

CALS.

SHE SOUNDS LITERALLY LIKE THE MOTHER OF ANGELS CRYING OUT FOR HER ANGELS.

When did she record this? She sounds different than how she did the rest of the album… so RAW. So PASSIONATE.

THOSE SCREAMS. I’d rather save an angel down.

And… it’s over.

_

Wow.

This was what I call a fucking EXPEDITION.

The opening track couldn’t have set the tone better.

The title track felt anticlimactic at first, but it gets catchier, deeper and more meaningful with each listen.

Then it’s a string off amazing fun bops to dance to before Gaga hits us with the more ‘serious’ stuff.

The world is full of deceptions, things you never knew would turn out to just be illusions.

The world is full of people who will drive you insane, but who you can’t get away from.

The world is full of hatred and ignorance, humans who are destroying each other and themselves over their clash of ideas.

The world is full of women who are willing to step on each other to reach their wants, in a world still ruled by men, instead of helping each other up.

The world is full of innocent people who are dying every single day because of political agendas and inequality.

And we all just stand around.

This album was something I’ve been waiting to hear for eternity. And I’m finally blessed to do so. I’d never have expected something so powerful and deep from Gaga. She outdid herself, she surprised me and many, many others. It’s truly one of the highlights of her career. She has worked so hard to get here, and seeing her finally make the music SHE wants to make, is more than what I could ever ask for.

I’m in love with this music. Thank you, Gaga. Keep doing what you do.

Joanne is extremely proud of you.

Score: 9.5/10

_________________________________________________________________

Okay, so time for the promised ramblings. I have been beating myself up for not updating my blog for the past few months. The longer it went, the more urgent a ‘comeback’ felt, and the more hard it seemed to be to make. I couldn’t just turn up out of the blue uninvited and I couldn’t stay away like I never said goodbye (yes I know these are not the right lyrics but it had to fit the situation I’m talking about okay?). It had to be something BIG. HUGE. AND LET’S BE HONEST. IT DOESN’T GET HUGER THAN THIS.

I’m truly feeling bad about abandoning this blog with no notice like that. I want to write a second post explaining everything but I just *know* I’ll slack off and not do it. So I’ll try to put it all in here. After I quit my summer job, I spent one AMAZING month, and I was preparing for Blogwarts. Then I got caught up in it, and school started, my FINAL YEAR OF HIGHSCHOOL BEFORE COLLEGE ASDFGHJKL SO YEAH I’m overswamped with work, and that’s apart from extracurricular things like piano lessons and choir practice. Random thought, I really need to start working out tbh, I can’t keep feeling depressed every time I see a naked torso. So yeah.

I WANT TO BE BACK HERE SO BAD I MISS YOU ALL SO FUCKING MUCH. But I’m even slacking off my school work, what about this blog lololololol

Maybe I’ll start slacking off my school work with this blog? I HOPE SO! At least that’d be productive.

Okay, Goodnight! I have to listen to Mariah Carey’s earlier stuff, man where have I been she slayz. BuhByE

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MY VERY FIRST CONCERT!

Guys… I have no words.
I’m so happy and overwhelmed.
As some of you might know, at the beginning of the school year and through a series of miracles I ended up being in the school choir.
I had told you how I got in, but I still haven’t told you the impact it had on my life. It has become my escape. A place free of all the bullshit we go through, free of all the horrible, judgemental people, free of all worries and trouble… Just music, and singing, and amazing people with beautiful souls – and voices.
Hearing us sing together is mesmerizing. It’s truly angelic. I have grown to anticipate choir lessons above all else during the week.
Our choir leader, the members, even I was surprised at how quickly I caught on. Not that my voice underwent a transformation, but I was doing very well for someone who had just started singing in a choir for the first time in his life. I learned all the songs and practiced every day. Never did I think I’d grow that fond of religious hymns but nowadays they’re all I sing and constantly on the tip of my tongue.

ANYWAY, fast forward to this evening. The previous three months have been leading up to this big night, as it would be the album release concert for a CD dedicated to the newly-announced Saint Marie Alphonsine, who happens to be the founder of our school’s sisterhood.
Even though I had joined halfway through these three months, I was allowed to participate in the concert, and I was absolutely thrilled.
I wasn’t really nervous to be quite honest. The year before, I had participated in a poetic night, during which I said a poem that I wrote in front of an audience (at the same stage where the concert would happen; which is our school’s. It is very grandiose with over 300 seats). At that time I was solo, with a spotlight and all, so naturally this time being with about 40 others and an orchestra I would feel quite comfortable.

So, yesterday afternoon, after drinking a good cuppa tea and honey, I put on my little chorist uniform (which you might mistake as a hotel clerk’s or a waiter at a high profile restaurant’s outfit), had a hair stylist give me a classic groovy look (I mean come on, I gotta look the part), and headed to school. They had put up tall banners with the famous Marie Alphonsine painting plastered on them.

I went backstage, and there we were all, similarly dressed in black, white and blue. We looked adorbz.

We went on stage to take our places, and I took in the enormity of it all. The roses, the lights, the orchestra (I was literally starstruck by the instruments. That contrebass! ヾ(*´∀`*)ノ ), heck, the event was going to be filmed for TV! I was excited, and frankly thankful that I had fixed my hair before coming.

The curtains were closed while the theater was being filled with people. I started to feel the weight of what I was going in for. The moment came. The national anthem started playing, while the curtains slowly unfurled and the crowd, the lights, the cameras, the flashes, everything together hit me so suddenly and I took in all of it.

The lights dimmed, the conductor appeared, the instruments started playing.

Wait, what were the words again?

What are the notes to this song?

Am I even singing? What am I doing here?

All these thoughts emerged and flooded my brain and spirit during the interval between the instrumental intro and the solo. It was our cue after that. We had to sing. And I had forgotten how to open my mouth.

Well, I thought I did. Because once the moment came, it came so naturally I thought a spirit had inhabited me and started moving my mouth and vocal chords for me. It happened in a snap, and the next moment I had regained control over the whole situation. My face unclenched, my lips curled into a smile of relief while still singing ‘On Your Ways Oh Jesus’ just as I had done many, many times before, and my gaze turned as soft and dramatic as can be, staring up to the bright golden lights as if I was looking into Marie’s eyes, singing to her, because this was still a performance and I was fully commited. Plus, I really felt it. It was Serenety, Love, Peace (which happens to be the title of another song we performed, and honestly I am surprised at how well these words describe what we sang because they came to my mind so naturally I forgot they were actually a song’s title. These were not random meaningless lyrics someone came up with just for the sake of it.)

The best were, of course, the Four Voices songs, which interestingly happened to be 4. ‘Wafts of Aromas and Melodies’, ‘Rose of Al-Kuds’, ‘Alphonsine’s Home’, and ‘Turn Your Loving Gaze To Me’ (I hope I have done these titles justice in translating them from Arabic; the last one wasn’t too hard because we actually sing it in four languages including English).
These songs were really pure genius. I have no idea how someone comes up with these melodies, but oh my god! It’s unearthly! I wish I could show you a clip, because it was really, really beautiful.

image

There was only one downside, and I’m saying this just to get my feet back on the ground a little.
Oh wow. I honestly did not mean to use that previous expression on purpose at all, because ironically the problem I’m talking about was feet-related. It’s just the fact that I had to stand completely still for two hours, holding the song book by one arm, while my body was still stiff and aching from the workout session a day before. That’s excluding the two other hours standing just like that during the repetition. Plus, I was wearing the world’s most feet-squishing shoes, which made my toes go numb so I had to basically tap dance to reestablish circulation through them while still maintaing good posture in my upper body because I was still being filmed. I also kept moving back and forth because I was afraid I was going to fall off, and at some point I was positive I was going to faint and/or vomit. These were some of the most secretly awkward moments of my life, but compared to everything else that happened that night it’s really not relevant.

After the concert was finished to great applause, the curtains closed once more. Everyone made a loud sigh of relief as we collapsed on stage, rubbing our legs and stretching our shoulders. It obviously wasn’t just me, even though I think I was the only one to whom this was their first ever concert.

On the way out, we were all given a gift box, which contained dinner (two sandwiches, a brownie and juice). These were frankly some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. It’s quite probably because I felt these were rewards for our hard work. It’s the same as when you read a book you saved up and paid for yourslef.

In the – what do they call it – the pre-theater-place-where-people-meet-and-talk-and-there’s-sometimes-a-buffet-with-delicious-pastry room, I (and of course every memberbof the choir) received congratulations from guests and spectators. Our Headmistress or Head-Nun herself (who is practically the president of the school) went totally out of character (I’m talking WAY out) and kissed every one of us she crossed paths with and told us what a great job we did with a true smile. I was positively shocked, because I thought she was sort of a Voldemort in terms of emotion.

Finally, we all thanked the one and only Sister M, who’s responsible for our choir, the CD, the songs, the concert, the whole project, who worked her hardest to make the night a success. And it worked.

This will most definitely be a night I’ll never, ever forget. This sounds extremely cliché, I know, but sometimes you really can’t say more than that. This was my very first concert, and I pray to God (and Marie) it won’t be the last.

How I made it to Choir! (Part 2)

Here is the last part of my story about how I made it to choir. It is long, but I wanted to tell it with all the details. Here’s where we left off:

image

I guess my panic was pretty obvious because Sister M said calmly ‘don’t worry, it’s alright, I just wanted to know why you were here.’
‘I just wanted to try out… For the experience… And my friend told me…’ I muttered. Mini was gonna pay for this.

She asked me what chant I had prepared, and for some reason I just stood there, frozen, apparently trying to think of something to sing other than the hymn I had been preparing for days. Why I did that is still I mystery but it sure as hell made me look like I just kind of wandered here by mistake and said ‘oh hey, I know what would be fun, I’ll try out for choir!’

At last, I regained reason and told her what I would be singing. She was going to accompany me with the piano, and she would stop playing at some point to see if I could continue singing with no music.

I was taken aback. I did not know that I would be singing over a piano, and I had never done it before. What if I went horribly off tune? Oh god oh god oh god.

Sister M started playing. I took a deep breath. Then I started singing.

Something strange happened then. It was as though a switch went off inside me. I didn’t know how or why, but suddenly, singing felt like the most natural thing in the world! I couldn’t believe how much better I sounded with the piano. It just seemed to flow out if me effortlessly. Not that I became some sort of Frank Sinatra, but I just thought ‘this is right.’ I started smiling. I almost caught myself laughing at many occasions and quickly stopped myself so that I don’t ruin the song.

I was then asked to do another song. I had not prepared for that. I didn’t even know all the words! I tried my best, and ended up just repeating the chorus, but that’s fine.

Next, I had to sing the notes that Sister M played on the piano. That was to see if I could get the notes right. Sure enough, I did pretty well.

Lastly, it was time for the vocal exercice, in which I have to sing ‘Mééééaaaaiiiiii’ on different – what, keys? I don’t know what these are called. But I know that it kicks up a note every time, and I have to sing it over and over until I can’t reach.

I found it quite fun, and I also had to stop myself laughing there, because it was kinda ridiculous, me standing there with my mouth wide open belting out this sound I only ever heard on Star Academy.

I didn’t reach too high. I guess I looked worried, because then the nun called in a boy who seemed to have been in choir for a long time. She did the same exercice with him, and he could reach the high notes I couldn’t. Was she just showing me that I’m not good enough? I wasn’t very pleased.

But then, she started lowering the notes, and he reached a point where he couldn’t go on. That’s when she asked me to pick up, and I did. It wasn’t hard at all. I kept going down until my voice was just a rumble. So it’s not about singing the highest you can after all.

I finished. She looked at me, and held out her hand.
‘Congratulations! You’re a Bass.‘ She said, smiling.
I took her hand disbelievingly. Is that it? I’m in?!
‘What’s a bass?’ I asked.
‘It’s your vocal type, it means you can sing the lower notes. They’re few here, so it’s great to have an addition.’

So that was it. I’m officially in. I felt so light, so relieved – I made it! How?! It was unreal. All my worries were pointless. Wow!!!

I immediately texted everyone. Told them I wasn’t accepted. Just to mess with them. Especially Mini.

I then started talking with Sister M and the other boy about myself. My grades, where I’m from, my hobbies… I said that I loved listening to music, and playing the piano, but only by ear. So she asked me if I could play and sing something. The first song that popped into my head was Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’. I played the chorus on the piano, rather nervously, because I had never done it in front of anyone before. For the song, I started to sing ‘Wide Awake’ by Katy Perry because I had sung it the day before on karaoke and felt good about it, but I didn’t feel good at all after a few notes so I changed my mind midway and sang ‘Dollhouse’ by Melanie Martinez instead. It was okayish. She noticed that I have a small lisp with the letter S, which I’ve had since I was little, and told me that I should have seen a doctor for it. I don’t think my parents really cared about that.

‘So when do I start?’ I asked.
‘Today. The lesson starts at 4’ she replied.
It was 3:30 now. I’ll wait. I was very excited.

When Mini came, I was standing alone outside, with a very fake frown. I assumed he had gotten my message, because he had an apologetic tone when he asked ‘what happened?’ Aww. After all, he did recommend me. I should be thanking him. Instead, I smiled and said ‘Bass.
‘Wait – really?! That’s great, I’m bass too! We’re only like 4 and there are so many tenors (I assumed tenors were the high-singers like that other boy). Sister M told me she’d kill me if I had brought in a new one.’

That was nice to hear. Maybe I wasn’t going to be a useless adition after all.

Moments later other chorists started arriving, and I could tell Mini was right because they seemed happy to know that there was a new bass. When everyone was there at last, we all sat on chairs, each group (Bass, Tenor, Alto [lower-voiced girls] and Soprano [the opposite]) alone.

Sister M started the session by welcoming me into the choir, and I received polite applause from everyone. I didn’t notice this, but I was actually the only one who tried out.

We then went into respiration and relaxation exercices. These were fun.

Not as fun as the vocal exercices, though. These were amazing. Hearing everyone sing at once, it was close to magical. I couldn’t believe I was a part of that.

I had some trouble at first adjusting to the right keys, but I quickly recovered.

Then, it was time to learn a new song. She gave us the music sheets, and each group was off to learn it alone, because as I came to know we don’t all sing the same tunes.

As it was my first time, I had some problems singing the right notes at certain places. But they were all very patient and encouraging with me, not once did they seem annoyed or amused, and they told me that this was a hard song compared to the usual (though I feel like they were just trying to raise my spirits).

But it did pay off, and I finally reached those tricky notes. I felt very pleased with myself.

Usually, after learning a song, we were supposed to sing it all together (the four groups), but that day was an exception because they were having elections for choir president and assistants. The president and his crew from last year had prepared a nice little ceremony involving funny sketches and a buffet, and I thought their spirit was awesome. I was happy to be part of such a community.

I told Mini about that, and he said ‘I know. This is the only place at school that I really like.’

I then understood why he wanted us here. And I’m very, very glad I joined.

How I made it to Choir! (Part 1)

I am currently in the middle of a pre-wedding party, much like the one I talked about last month in my ‘Yay! I’m still up’ post.

However, this time, I’m not really that concerned and I’m just sitting on a table watching people dance to this tribal arabic music of ours, minding my own business, waiting for the groom’s family to arrive so we can make a big deal about it then go home.

Meanwhile, I decided now was a pretty good moment to continue my story about music & choir that I started in my last post. You know, wedding parties, blog-writing… Goes perfectly well together.

Where were we…

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As I had started my story, it all began with the Choir posters that were plastered all over the school hallways. I wasn’t interested the slightest bit in the idea, not that I didn’t like singing (as I’ve counted in detail in the last post), but it just seemed too far-fetched, somehow.

The ‘trigger’ was my friend, who I shall nickname Mini for confidential purposes. (Just kidding. There’s nothing confidential about this. It just seems cool. Also, I called him Mini because his short height is a running joke between our group of friends.)

He was a member of choir, and I guess they either needed more numbers or he didn’t have enough friends there. So he asked us all if we’d join, it would be fun, and all that. I jokingly said yes. I didn’t have the faintest idea that his response would be something like ‘great! So you’ll do it?’ I was quite taken aback so I said I’d think about it by tomorrow.

And I did think about it. A lot. Being me, I started making my mental list of cons and negative points and down sides. I couldn’t really think of much.

The awfulest thing is that I’d be laughed at. But the auditions were private, and the nun responsible for everything choir was known to be very nice. All I had to do was just not tell anyone I’m going to try out, and if it doesn’t work out, then no one would know.

Still, I wasn’t really a big fan of being turned down. Sure, I’ve been rejected many times, but that’s in the friendship/romance field. In other fields, however, I was used to being successful. The prospect of trying out for something I wanted and then not getting it is very unappealing, especially because I’d have commited and tried my hardest to make it work. I hate being a failure at anything – and I am at a LOT of things. That’s why I’m careful with what I set out to do.

However, there were so many positives. I could finally have a place where it’s considered completely normal to sing freely and openly. I’d become closer to Mini, somehow (I like getting closer to my friends way more than having friends-slash-acquaintances, it just boosts my well-being), and maybe even make some other friends who might share some interests. I’d have a sense of true commitment in my life. Most importantly, I’d belong to a community.

That’s why, the next day, I said that I’d give it a shot. Mini was thrilled.

The natural thing to do for me in such a situation was to start preparing as much as I could. I asked Mini what would come up in my audition and he told me that I’d be asked to sing a religious hymn of my choice, then some vocal exercices to see how far my voice reaches, and whether I could hit the right notes.

I practiced all of these continuously. I chose a hymn I was used to and sang it in all the possible tones. My sisters’ taunts were growing louder and meaner but I didn’t even care at that point. When I’m accepted in, they’ll feel stupid for saying my voice was a joke.

The thing is that, in the last few days, I started to believe that myself. I was growing more and more insecure by the hour.

On the audition day, when I woke up, I was in complete denial and disbelief. What the fuck is wrong with you? I asked myself. Since when are you a singer?! How do you get these genius ideas to get us embarrassed?! What the hell were you thinking? Forget it. We’re done.

I had actually convinced myself to just give up right then. So I texted Mini telling him that I changed my mind. But he replies ‘oh hell no I already spoke to the leader she booked you an audition time and all and I’ve told all the choir you’re auditioning today so see ya there’.

All the middle-finger emojis I sent him then couldn’t fix the fact that I was doomed, that it wasn’t my choice anymore and that I had to go and probably make a fool of myself. Rosary Choir… These people sang in the Vatican last year! How did I for one second think I’m a match for those standards?! Ugh.

To be completely honest, I was quite a bit thankful too. Not just afterwards, but before. I had to be thrown into things. Always. I’m much too indecisive to make up my mind about any mildly important decision, and I’m always relying on the extra push. It came from him. Even if I went and failed, at least I could give myself the satisfaction that I tried (same ego-boosting method I had employed each time I got turned away by a girl. Works pretty well.)

At 3:00 PM, I was at the choir room at school, so nervous I barely registered what was going on. The only other people there were two girls who looked like they’d been chorists for years (which it turned out they were). They were busy decorating for some event, but they still seemed to know that I’m the new guy who’s auditioning. I cursed Mini in my mind and soul. Later, two others came, sat at the piano, and started singing Ave Maria. I was in awe at how beautiful they sounded (I always had weak spot for that song), but I was also starting to feel suicidal.

After a while, the leader/nun I talked about earlier (let’s call her Sister M) finally arrived. My nervousness reached new peaks. She greeted me (she somehow knew my name), and asked me to begin our audition right away. I looked pitifully in her eyes and said something like ‘ohumlikenowomgyeahokay’
. The four girls left the room and wished me good luck. I’ll need loads of that, you bet, I told myself.

Sister M sat down at the piano and told me to stand in front of her with good and relaxed posture. I tried my best.
‘Have you ever been a part of a singing group?’ She asked me.
‘Um… No…’
‘Have you sang in public before?’
‘Not really…’
‘Do you have any experience in singing? Has anyone told you that you have a good voice?’
‘…’

At that point, I pretty much wanted to make a run for it and sprint out of the doors. These questions confirmed all my worries. What was I doing here? I’m gonna get screwed.
***

Listen, guys, I’m sorry that all my posts lately have been divided and sequelized and all that. I’m also sorry if it’s annoying. But I can’t find another way to do this. I’ll try my best to get back to my usual posting style. Damn you, school.
Anyway, this time it won’t take long since it’s nearly finished, so I’ll post it either tonight or tomorrow. See you then!

Me and Music! A.k.a how the heck am I in choir now?! (How I made it to Choir – prologue)

So I’m in the school choir now.

If you had told me this exact thing about a few weeks ago, I’d have laughed. Like really hard.

Even last week, when I came across the recruiting posters in the hallways, I just gave them a long glance, sighed, and walked away.

I’ve always put people who can sing on a higher pedestal than me, nevermind all of my/their other capabilities. It’s like a raw talent, it can’t be bought or made (autotune excluded), you either have it or you don’t.

I love singing a lot, and music in general. I’m literally humming songs under my breath most of my waking hours. If no one’s around, I belt out whatever comes to mind.

There’s the thing: I sound like shit.

I really never considered my voice a good one. This theory has been further reenforced by my lovely sisters who laughed or shot me looks full of fake horror every time I tried to sing a few notes. Usually, when that happens, I try screwing up even more obviously, so that it seems I’ve been sounding bad on purpose.

And ever since Miranda Sings came into the scene, and I started imitating her on a regular basis, it was becoming so easy to pass my singing off as Miranda impressions if I just alter the pitch a little and deform my facial expressions at the right moment. Soon enough, I was singing every single song in Miranda-mode. It wasn’t just an act anymore. I did it even when I was alone. It’s unbelievably entertaining. I swear. Try it. (Except if you hate Miranda – *cough* asdeentelayoush *cough* – then obviously don’t try it or you’ll want to kill yourslef afterwards. Duh.)

Meanwhile, my real singing voice was getting forgotten. I never really used it, or had a reason to. My Miranda voice was getting perfected, I wasn’t being bothered by my sisters, and – well. There’s no and. I don’t have other reasons. Movin’ on.

Despite all that, I did know that I wasn’t completely useless at music. I had memorized hundreds of songs, and could sing all their lyrics and melodies. Sometimes, in the rare moments when I truly sang a song and appreciated it for what it’s worth, I did catch myself think ‘bet the stupid guys in my class couldn’t even do that. Their heads would break down.’ once, maybe twice, probably 50 times. I mean, really. I know most of it is just me desperately trying to give myself some self esteem, but I did think that I could probably sing better than him.

This ‘him’ is a completely random guy in my class. Anyone. Nobody in particular, for no particular reason – even though when I think of ‘him’ the mental picture is one particular guy. I don’t really have particularly much against him, he’s just a regular stupid guy, nothing particular about him, but I don’t know why it’s always him particularly. I imagine him trying to sing and I’m overcome with a particular feeling of satisfaction. I don’t know why I’m so particularly keen on using the word ‘particular’. Particularly in this particular paragraph. (Try saying that ten times fast)

I also had an ear for melodies. I had started playing piano by ear since about 8th grade. I would just take it out, hum the latest Lady Gaga song I had memorized and try to play it single-handedly on my old keyboard. It’s missing like 5 keys now, but meh.
I love the piano. One of my biggest regrets is that I stopped taking lessons when I was in 4th grade. Gosh I wish I could go back, but too late, I guess.

The point is that I get along with music pretty well.

I still haven’t tackled the choir subject. It’s getting really late and I have school in the morning. Oh well, I guess I’ll divide the intended post in two, now that I have talked about the background a bit, I’ll be able to talk about the whole story exclusively later (tomorrow, in twelve weeks, who knows).

No, just kidding. It’s gonna be soon. Not that you really care, but just sayin’.

Good Night! 🙂 [lol – this has always been my diary outro. I meant journal. Yeah, let’s call it that.]