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!