I’ve been carrying around a box of 4-track audio cassettes for years. They’re my “master tapes,” and they’re of dubious usefulness. Especially since it’s been about three years since I’ve laid eyes on my 4-track cassette recorder that’s capable of playing them back properly.
Until last weekend. Unpacking, sorting, purging, and re-packing, I came across my old friend, my first means of trying to get my musical ideas down so that someone could hear them. I hugged it. It was emotional.
Let’s re-connect with our younger selves. Let’s reach back across the years and join that striving, aspiring young singer, and let them know what the years have taught us.
Your Prompt: Find the oldest recording of yourself that you can lay your hands on with relative ease. Listen to it once first, if you’d like, so that there are no rude surprises. Then record yourself singing along with the old recording. Try to react to the younger singer’s performance in a natural, organic way, almost as if you were there or they were here.
It’s good to have options. Here we offer ways that you can meet this prompt right where you are; or, alternatively, ways you can challenge yourself more deeply with it.
Option A: Inter-Generational Sing-Along. For an easier stretch, sing the song that your younger self is singing, more-or-less just the way that your younger self sang it. They are not as familiar with the song as you are; they will appreciate the support of a more seasoned singer. What flavor do you bring to it now?
Option B: Time Machine Conversation. Ever wished you could send a message to your younger self? “Hey, kid, try such-and-so; it’ll work out for you.” No? It’s just me then. But imagine that there’s a conversation that you need to have with the younger singer that you once were, and take this opportunity to have it with them. It may not seem like they’re listening, but perhaps, if we sing it right, they will hear us.
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 duet.
- 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 Tuesday, March 8th, 2016.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about two to five minutes, or however long it takes to sing along with your old tape.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-younger]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-younger” 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 “SSS Prompt 58: Duet With Your Younger Self.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!