Saturday, 14 February 2009

In The Belly Of A Bear

In a little while, I’m going to a studio to read a part of a story. A band wanted some spoken word for one of their songs, and the Mr offered my services. I’m just excited about being in the vocal booth. It’s lined with brown fake-fur, and feels like the inside of a big bear. I will pretend I’m Jonah in the whale, or better still, Red Riding Hood inside the wolf. I only have to read for sixty seconds. I started writing something new, but then my head kept going back to something I’d already written that would really fit it. So I picked out the relevant piece, changed it a bit, and I’ve been practicing reading it over the music all afternoon.

I hope I get to have big earphones like in Band Aid. I’m not panicking that much because they’ll be putting lots of distortion on my voice, so it won’t sound like me. That said, I’ve tried to get out of it twice today. So maybe I’m panicking a bit.

In theory, I should be less afraid than when I’m reading in front of people, but I think the fact that I’m doing this for someone else, and they are paying good English pounds for the recording is upping the fear. They might hate it. Which will actually be fine by me. But I’ll still feel bad for them. They might hate it but not feel like they can say so. That would be much worse.

A few years back, I was in a band, a terrible band. We only had one song, and the rest of our set - yes, we actually did this in front of people - comprised of a loose kind of...well, I’d call it “jamming” but that would be a lie. I was meant to be the singer, but I’d long since given up trying to write any lyrics because what was a “song” one day was a completely different “song” the next. It ended up with me just reading bits of stories over whatever noise was going on in the background. So, at this point, shortly before quitting, we were playing gigs and I’d just ad lib and hope for the best, cringing inside. A probably worse fact is that some people actually liked us. I remain shocked by this, and can only assume that either they were being very kind and fibbing, or that they were pretentious knobs who thought we were “arty”. We were so not “arty”. So my pep talk to myself here is, if I could do that, then reading a specific piece over a certain part of a song (2 mins 35 seconds in, to 3 mins 40 seconds in), played by a proper band should be a cakewalk. I like the word cakewalk. I’ve just rediscovered it. I’m going to use it more often.

Part Two

Well, I just did it! It was over before I’d realised. They liked the first take. So now I’m back home, with another experience under my belt. My own voice sounds WEIRD to me. But I think everyone feels that. The vocal booth was very nice. Cosy. Furry. It’d be a good place to have a nap. I’ll get to have a proper listen to the entire song later on tonight. They’re mixing it now. If I don’t hate my input too much, then I might even post a link to it at a future date. That is, if they don’t decide they hate my input and erase me after all.

You can have a listen to the song here. It's the one called 'Lunacy By Sea Wind'. I really like it, and can even listen to it without covering my mouth because I don't think it sounds like me, even though it does.


CathM said...

Emma. Well done you! Thanks for sharing...

sally cook said...

hello Emma!

I would love to see your band. any chance you might reform?

when are we getting you back to Manchester to read again?

S x

emma said...

Cheers Cath. I'm glad I didn't chicken out of it.

Oh Sally, I wouldn't force that on even my worst enemy.
I'll be all holidayed-up again after April, so maybe I could pop up for a summer(ish) sortee.