Yesterday we lost Prince, one of the most visionary artists in this history of pop. He is not alone. The year is young, but we have already lost many great musicians in 2016.
Before Prince died, many legends had already fallen: there was country superstar Merle Haggard, and rapper Phife Dawg (of A Tribe Called Quest), and revolutionary bandleader Maurice White (of Earth, Wind & Fire), and jazz singer Natalie Cole, and guitarist Glenn Frey (of The Eagles), and mastermind producer George Martin (who produced the Beatles)—and of course, the incomparable David Bowie. All inspirations, all gone.
They changed our world. They died. Now what? Here’s what: This week U are invited 2 sing a soulful tribute 4 a musical influence who has passed away this year.
It’s good 2 have options. Here we offer ways that U can meet this prompt right where U are; or, alternatively, ways 4 U 2 challenge yourself more deeply.
Option A: Cover your idol. Choose a musician who died this year from the list above. Pick the 1 that means the most 2 U. Then, without thinking 2 much, find a song that encapsulates some of their genius for U. Print out the words if you’d like. Then just sing this song into your phone or microphone. Nothing fancy, nothing sacred. The point is just 2 feel some of their sound moving through U.
Option B: Sing for your idol. Here U are invited to take a step further. As above, choose a recently departed musical influence who meant something 2 U. Cue up some of their music and listen 4 a few minutes. Then, when U are ready, try 2 sing 4 them. Tell them exactly where U were when U first heard their music. Tell them what they meant to U. Try 2 stay as direct and specific as possible. Really sing 4 them, so they can hear U.
“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?” ― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
The steps are as follows:
- Step 1: Record yourself singing 4 your idol.
- Step 2: Upload 2 SoundCloud and post the track 2 the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen 2 and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever U R on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about as long as it takes 2 say goodbye.
Description: It would be awesome 2 include a short description of where and when U sang your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading 2 SoundCloud, put “[sss-gone]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-gone” as a tag. This will help us 2 find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure 2 select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if U have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome 2 include this info in your description:
This track is a reply 2 “SSS Prompt 65: Sing Gone Too Soon.” More on the Society 4 Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!
Jascha & Amado
Society 4 Spontaneous Singing