Things change. That’s it; that’s the rule. Bare sticks turn to budding trees, buds turn to leaves, leaves turn colors. Skies change from blue to grey to blue again. Teenagers experience dramatic changes to their bodies, but as we continue to age the changes to our bodies never really stop. Even the rivers change in their courses, if we could but slow down enough to watch.
And yet, even as some things change, there are others that will remain the same. Or, if they’re the mutable type, they at least can remain constant in the face of upheavals. For as long as we live, the sun will rise in the morning, and the moon will hang in the sky. If we nurture them, friendships can last through seemingly impossible circumstances.
This week, let’s make a musical metaphor for this phenomenon.
Your Prompt: Sing something that has obvious changes throughout, but that periodically comes back to something that remains relatively constant. You may do this “in series,” such as if you were to do a solo vocal line and alternate between the evolving and the constant. Or you may do it “in parallel,” such as if you do loops or layers. Anything that gets across the contrast between that which changes and that which stays the same.
It’s good to have options. Here are ways to perhaps make the prompt a bit easier, or ways to go a bit further with it.
Option A: Leitmotif – For an easier stretch, for this option let’s turn to the tried-and-true. In your song, return back to a particular riff, theme, or melody line occasionally. Check out “leitmotif” on Simple Wikipedia. Then start singing. Early in your improvisation, you may hit upon a melodic idea that you find it easy to remember. Keep singing, but remind us of that melody occasionally.
Option B: The Inconspicuous Constant – For perhaps a deeper stretch, make the thing you keep constant far less overt. This could be along any dimension you can devise: maybe the dynamic level remains constant throughout, or all the note lengths are the same, or every 17th note is a C#. The choice is up to you, but the metaphor may be all the stronger if that which is constant happens at the very same time as that which changes. Try it out.
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing your song of constancy and change.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, May 23, 2016.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about 2 to 5 minutes, or however long you need to sing your song.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece—and how it felt.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-constant-change]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-constant-change” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “Prompt 69: Constancy Amongst Change.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org. You can join the SSS at https://soundcloud.com/groups/society-for-spontaneous-singing
Thank you, sweet singers!