The word “unique” doesn’t have degrees; one thing can’t be “more unique” than another. You’re either utterly one-of-a-kind, there aint anything exactly like you anywhere anytime… or you’re not. If there’s more than one of a thing, it aint unique.
Now, about you: you’re unique.
How can I say that? How can I know that? Seems awfully presumptuous. First off, I haven’t met all of you. Secondly, there are fundamental aspects of the human experience that we all share, so in many of the important ways we are very much alike, we’re in this together—all of us.
But (and here’s the crux behind today’s Prompt) let’s take music as an example. All the music you have heard in your life has gotten into you, via your ears (and, to a lesser extent, your body). Some of it, your perceptual systems filtered out because your attention was needed elsewhere. Of the stuff that got past the filters: some of it you liked, some of it you didn’t. There’s stuff you didn’t like about the stuff you liked, and there’s stuff you liked about the stuff you didn’t like. And that whole thing got processed through the supercomputer of your MindBodySoul to create your sum-total opinion on all music, what I like to call your (capital-V) Voice.
And no-one alive today, no-one ever living in all of human history, has got the same Voice as you do.
And I think it’s high time to celebrate that.
Your Prompt: Think about your Voice (as I discuss the term above). What music do you like, dislike? How do you relate to your own personal musical history? Embracing all the many facets that have turned you into the musician you are today, sing something that best expresses who you are today. Acknowledging that no one song can reflect the entire essence of a being, make your song as complete a reflection as you can, at this time. Show us your uniqueness. Let’s hear your Voice.
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: Just One Side – For an easier stretch, think of just one particular style of music (or, one particular mood of singing) that you particularly like, something you identify with on some level, and sing your song in that style or mood. Take some of the pressure of having to capture the entirety of your being in one vocal utterance. Whatever you sing will be essentially you regardless, so, simply singing something you like will fulfill this Prompt nicely.
Option B: What You Like About What You Dislike – For a deeper stretch, think about one or more musical styles (or styles of singing) that you dislike. Consider what there may be of redeeming (to you) value in them—something happened for the music to get past your filters. Take your time with this reflection, and then sing something which expresses these aspects that you like. Sing what you accept about what you’ve rejected.
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 uniqueness.
- 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, April 18, 2016.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about 2 to 5 minutes, or however long you need to sing your uniqueness.
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-unique]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-unique” 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 64: Unique.” 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!