In-Depth Night – Final Post!

People who know me know that I love to sing! However, I often struggled with performing alone, as I wasn’t used to accompanying myself. For this year’s In-Depth, I decided to study piano/ keyboarding, specifically to accompany voice. Although I already knew how to play piano to an extent, reading music off of leadsheets was a new experience for me. Below you can find 1 video and 2 recordings of me playing/ singing 3 pieces. I’ve also attached links to the original/ most relevant recording of the song I’m playing.

I’d like to apologize for the shaky recording/ voice quality, as I recorded these live, and I’m still getting used to playing and singing simultaneously. If you’d like to hear a better-produced version of my playing, scroll down and read about Jian’s project.

Isn’t She Lovely was released by Stevie Wonder in 1976, and has since become a classic song. Although the original recording is usually considered soul, many artists have released their own renditions of the song, and these renditions are often in the style of jazz, acoustic, or pop, making it a very versatile piece. Stevie Wonder’s recording of this song has a somewhat complex instrumental part, most notably the harmonica solo, but I’m replacing it with a piano instrumental. 

 

 

 

 

Fly Me to the Moon is a very well-known jazz standard, and many artists have released their own renditions over the years. Initially written by Bart Howard in 1954, the song gained popularity when Frank Sinatra released his version a decade later. This particular arrangement is similar to jazz singer/ pianist Diana Krall, who is known for her alto vocals, and considering what I’m used to playing and singing, this is a good piece to showcase my learning throughout this project. 

 

 

 

 

The Girl from Ipanema is a bossa-nova originally written by Antônio Carlos Jobim in 1962. After gaining popularity with the release of Astrud Gilberto’s recording, it’s been redone by many artists including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Amy Winehouse. This song is a bossa-nova, which is a genre of music originated in Brazil. The genre is usually described as a combination of jazz and samba, and is typically built around a certain “bossa-nova rhythm”. The lyrics of this song are originally in Portuguese, but there are multiple English translations; I’m singing Astrud Gilberto’s lyrics. 

 

 

 

 

During this in-depth season, I was lucky enough to be a part of Jian’s project, where she started and ran a band! For this project, I, along with my fellow band members, wrote our own instrument parts from the chords given. This was a great way to further my experience! You can find us on Youtube, Soundcloud, and Instagram. Our original song was released at 6:30 today!

 

 

Thank you so much to my mentor Liz and everyone else who helped me with this project!

Feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions!

45 thoughts on “In-Depth Night – Final Post!

  1. Mulder ten Kate

    You girls rock. I am listening to your release while typing this. I love it. What was the most fun and most challenging during the writing rehearsing and performing of this song?

    Like

    1. amanda

      It was really fun to be able to write our own parts, while still working together to create a final product all together! However, it was a bit challenging to record our parts without the others around, and I was a bit worried that my part would clash with someone else’s.

      Like

  2. Stephanie Sauer

    You’re very talented. Love the original song by your band and your solo songs! It must be challenging to master singing and playing at the same time. Great work!

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you so much! I noticed that the songs I selected for this project were a lot more challenging to learn than some of the simpler pop songs I played on my own time.

      Like

  3. Liam Northcott

    Wow! I’ve heard you sing before, but I’m still impressed with your voice. I love all the little embellishments you add at the start of some of the notes. How much work does it take to get that level of control over your tone and pitch?

    Like

  4. Your voice and piano playing, especially together, are absolutely gorgeous! I loved all four songs, but my favourite has to be the first. Your playing (which is hard to do- I can’t even play with two hands, much less sing with it) is amazing, reading a music sheet is so hard (massive props for learning that skill) and your singing is just… so, so good. What music are you thinking of covering/creating with your new talent, and when can we expect the first album?

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you so much! I’ve already started playing around with the skills that I’ve learned, and it’s been really fun! The songs that I selected for this project were quite a bit more difficult than most pop songs, so there are lots of cool cover song opportunities!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. amanda

      Thank you!! Out of these 3, I think Isn’t She Lovely was my favorite to sing, but I really enjoy listening to all of them.

      Like

  5. makenziem03

    This is amazing! You are all so talented! What is your favourite style/ genre of music to listen to and to sing? Great work!

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you so much!! I enjoy listening to jazz, but it’s pretty difficult to play. I really enjoy playing/ singing in the style of singer-songwriter though!

      Like

  6. Great stuff Amanda! Do you think the music you listen to in your free time benefits or conflicts with your growth as a musician? What’s the correlation? And again, great work, especially in the band!

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you! Most of the music I listen to is quite a bit more complex than what I can play, but it’s cool to have that standard to strive towards.

      Like

  7. Carolyn Quan

    You have a lovely voice! Amazing how you have learned keyboard so quickly and how you are able to sing and play, making it sound like you have been doing this forever. You are a natural talent! I really enjoyed listening to you perform!

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you so much! I already knew how to play some types of music on piano, but this was a new experience for me! Thanks again!

      Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you! For me, Girl from Ipanema was the most challenging, as the chords were a bit more complex, and I struggled to hold the rhythm while singing.

      Like

  8. elaine

    AMANDA YOUR VOICE IS SO PRETTY! mr kwong days got me like-
    I know you love music in your day to day life, did this make the learning process more challenging for you (doing it too often) or more enjoyable (being able to do something you love all the time)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. amanda

      Thank you! For me, music is definitely something I’m happy to enjoy all the time, but I often frustrate myself while practicing. In times like these, I find it more relaxing to listen that practice/study 🙂

      Like

    1. amanda

      thank you!! I like the piano because it’s versatile and allows you to play in many different styles. I feel like piano can play a large range of genres without too much extra equipment etc.

      Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you! I used to prefer ukulele, but I now feel that it mostly caters to a certain style, which is why I’m trying to improve my skills of piano accompaniment.

      Like

  9. Alyson Quan

    Great progress on your piano playing! I also play and know how tough it is to play from leadsheets! It’s such a valuable skill to go with your beautiful voice so way to go!! Hope you keep it up and keep performing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cindy Quach

    Lovely..your voice is like a swath of velvet…warm and smooth and luxurious! Do you find that singing and playing improves and strengthens both aspects?

    Like

    1. amanda

      Thank you so much! SInging and playing together is certainly hard to get used to, but I’ve found it beneficial to learn to concentrate on both aspects at once; it’s important to be fully confident on both parts, which in turn forces you to be strong on them both individually!

      Like

  11. Gyu Min Jang

    Woah, Amanda! Every single one of your recordings sounds so professional, that’s amazing! I hope you can KEYp continuing on your endeavors without getting BOARD, because I think you could make some really awesome music with your talent. Keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

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