The Case of the Over-Relaxed Singer

Probe with Rachel Bennett
Eduardo was preparing for a pub gig with a pop set that consisted of some songs with a frenetic and slightly comic edge.

Ed presented his songs with flair and sauntered about the stage with the ‘smell of success’.

After two songs the set had flat-lined for me and whilst Ed was superbly proficient with the superfast diction his songs required, I was left unmoved.

Whilst Ed was superbly proficient with the superfast diction his songs required, I was left unmoved

The Body Must Fit the Song

There was a frenetic energy that the songs required and Ed’s very cocky ‘Mr Success’ was too relaxed.

We played a game whereby two fellow band members literally ‘came at’ Ed with unexpected physical moves … They surprised him from behind, ran across his vision, pirouetted and did ballet lifts, whirled around him, jabbed very close to his face and generally created a massive energy around him.

Each time Ed was surprised, a wonderful ‘stab’ arrived in the most unexpected parts of his phrasing and the songs took on a whole new dimension.

Taking it Literally

The lyrics of a song often contain drama or action that is fundamental to the character of the music; in this case the lyrics suggested Ed was literally fending off ‘life’ and by enacting this, the real rhythm-melodic scansion of the songs was revealed.

This work also aided diction further as more glottal stops appeared and the sleepy ease that Ed initially came with was replaced by a frenetic clarity.

Playing the Situation

We often feel we have to embody the stage with a type or a status.

It's equally imperative to explore the truth and the action in our own songs

Whilst this is an imperative part of performance work, it’s equally imperative to explore the truth and the action in our own songs.

Ed’s discovery about his own lyric completely altered the dynamic of his song, adding colour, wit and comic moments.

In his final rehearsal delivery of the song, we laughed uncontrollably as we shared his fright when he ‘avoided’ oncoming objects that we couldn’t see.

– Raie


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