If you’re reading this, guess who is still with us? As of this writing: Keith Richards, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Geddy Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Jon Hendricks, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Bob Dylan, you, and me—to name a few.
There’s a sad-but-true phenomenon that the popularity of an artist tends to spike for a short while after their death. Suddenly, we seem to remember how much their work meant to us, and we voice our appreciation and share our favorite links with friends. News outlets write retrospectives. Just about everyone records a cover of that one song.
What would it be like to show that kind of appreciation for an artist while they’re still around to enjoy it?
Your Prompt: Sing a song influenced by a major musical influence of yours who is still alive! It can be a soulful tribute, a cover, or… Options below.
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: A Cover Means “I Love You” – Choose a surviving musician who whom you consider to be a major influence of yours. Without thinking too much, find a song that encapsulates some of their genius for you. Print out the words if you’d like. Then just sing this song into your phone or microphone. As last week: nothing fancy, nothing sacred; the point is just to feel some of their sound moving through you.
Option B: The Sincerest Form – For a deeper stretch, think about the elements of your chosen artist’s style that have imprinted on you most deeply. Then, with those elements as firmly in your mind as you can manage, sing an improvised song that expresses them. Wear your admiration on your sleeve, and show the artist (and the world) just how much they’ve meant to you.
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 for the living.
- 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 2nd, 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-StillWithUs]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-StillWithUs” 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 66: Still With Us!” 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!