One of the great vocal challenges is to go from being a choral singer in a large group such as the Grads, where you are one of a team of excellent voices, to being one half of a duo, where you live or die by your own voice! Add the complexity and exposure of a recording environment and the fun really begins …
Never one to back down from a challenge (possibly due to a goodly deal of naiveté), I began a recording project for our Croatian parish church, St Nikola Tavelic, St Johns Park. My partners in crime were two experienced musos, an organist Allan and an alto, Mary. We had performed together previously, so we felt pretty comfortable with each other, which was a great start.
Choosing the style of music and content was relatively easy – we wanted a mix of traditional church hymns, Gregorian chant and psalms that would blend together to form a meditative, serene hour or so of music. We aimed to create a CD that could be used during a mass service, played as background music at home, or in the car during the frazzle of a peak hour commute.
I think we achieved this, and more, with Pjevajte, Pjevajte (Sing Sing), which was released on Sunday 13th November 2011. During many all-night sessions in the eight weeks it took to put it together at the studio we drove our poor sound engineer nuts but we still managed to have loads of fun and learn much.
My personal lessons?
Lesson 1: Trust my instincts – the songs I was passionate about from the start are definite favourites now. Lesson 2: Everything takes five times as long as you think it will! Lesson 3: Patience really is a virtue, and although it may seem like it’s all taking forever, remember the end is what you are left with indefinitely. Lesson 4: Make friends with the Chinese takeaway across the road- you’ll be seeing lots of them. Lesson 5: You can never rehearse too much!! Lesson 6: Yes, you can teach an English speaking sound engineer to sing Croatian.
Seriously though, it’s been a wonderful experience and I hope that the people who purchased a CD are enjoying what they are listening to. There has been a more tangible result to this, as we have donated the proceeds of our CD sales to Caritas in Vukovar, a Croatian city that is still undergoing a rebuild after the civil war in the 90s. So we’re very proud to announce that we raised $10,000 to this worthwhile charity as a result of our launch.
Looking back, we began this project with the aim of recording a CD that would enrich the lives of our parishioners in some small way. We now have a project that has gone beyond that, and will contribute to people’s lives in a fundamental way by assisting them financially. It’s an effort that we are proud to sing about indeed!
If you are interested in sampling Sing, Sing , click on these two clips on YouTube:
If you are interested in purchasing one of the CDs, which are $20 each, you can:
1. Contact Zlatna Krila via email at email@example.com
2. Contact the Croatian Bookshop who is selling it on our behalf – web or phone (02) 9728 6207 (the shop is not taking any profit – they are passing on all sales revenue to us to pass through)
3. Contact me directly on 0400411031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Leave a message on the Facebook page to which I can respond.
P.S. The CD is being played on the Croatian radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and I’ve also had interest from CRADIO, the national Catholic Radio Station. I’m just waiting on confirmation from other stations in Toronto, Vancouver and Croatia that they have received their promo copies and are willing to play it for us, so with any luck, we’ll go global.