It has been some time since my last singing performance, almost one and half year! Ever since I started singing, I’ve never done without a concert that long. Yes, life got in the way, my day job has been intense (I had to learn a lot) and I just didn’t have the energy to commit to music for a while.
This changed last spring. I had more energy, and when some old friends from the conservatory asked me to join them in a singing trio, I immediately said yes. Their ambitions were similar to my own, they wanted to make music together with other professionals, but without too much pressure to become commercial. We met and it was great, because we were so much on the same page in all kinds of ways. We are going to give concerts in December, and also have planned one performance for early 2015.
The energy and inspiration that I got from working with these women sort of kicked my butt: this is what I like doing, what I love doing, and if I don’t do something about it, nothing will ever happen. So, I decided to contact a lute/theorbo/guitar player I know, with whom I had worked before in a different setting, to ask if she would like to work together and see how it goes. She really liked the idea, and we started rehearsing some nice old English music by Lanier, Purcell, Dowland and others.
We thought about a name and came up with Sense, a word that can be interpreted and used in different ways. Common sense, making sense, sensation, sensuality… lots of possibilities. We planned a concert for September 18 at a stage in Den Haag, to sort of try out the program we developed. We called it “Sick of Love”, because almost all the songs are about the weird things people start saying and doing once they fall in love. One of the songs, Bess of Bedlam, is about a girl who is in an asylum because she became crazy after her husband died.
The concert was a lot of fun, and the hottest concert ever (the sweat was trinkling down into my eyebrows…). The audience loved it, and so did we. It was a bit scary to present myself as a singer again, but also exhilirating and inspiring. We want to do this program again somewhere (still need to find locations), and we also want to prepare a program with romantic songs with guitar (Schubert and Spohr, among others). Fun!
Here are some excerpts from the concert! The first song, I’m sick of love, is composed by William Lawes, and is very dramatic. We decided to perform it a bit over the top (which is not that much, looking back), because it made sense. Note the low bass notes of the theorbo that really work well with this. By the way, if you didn’t know, a theorbo is like a lute, but with extra strings to add more bass.
The song that ended the program is a nice, quiet song about all the things that would have to happen first before leaving a true love… things like no more stars at night, burning fish in the oceans and the like. Just to make the point that although love may make you a bit insane, if it works, it’s the best thing in the world.