Saturday, May 26, 2012

Singing Without Accent

I've written before about how much I love the Eurovision Song Contest. Today, thankfully, I was reminded of this when Evgeni Plushenko posted a link to the finale scoreboard for this year's competition.

In listening to all the finalists, I was reminded of a draft that I started writing months ago. All it contained was the one sentence that I couldn't quite find words to go with.

Has anyone else ever noticed how people's accents tend to fade away when they're singing?

This isn't always the case - I think specifically of the Spanish singing accents in West Side Story and the fabulous Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once and their Swell Season albums. For the most part, though, people sound very similar while singing. I feel like this goes for other languages too - I've sung in at least 3 foreign languages, only one of which I can actually speak, and it has never seemed difficult [for me, at least] to pick up the correct inflections and pronunciations.

I imagine this has something to do with how you have to sing differently than you talk, but I do music for fun and so can't give any technical explanation of why this is. That makes sense though, right?

Quite a few of the best [in my opinion] songs this year were in the home country's language, so posting them doesn't help my argument. I'll have to work them into some other rambling. But here are a couple of lovely songs to enjoy, more or less accent free.

The entry from Iceland. The violin playing reminds me of Alexander Rybak's win.

The entry from Hungary. I think this is the best video in the contest.

The entry from Ireland. These guys are so ridiculous.

The entry from Azerbaijan. They won last year with another great song.

The entry from Germany. So much better than the last couple of years.

 The entry from Slovakia. They didn't make it to the finals but they deserved to.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Halfway Done

I decided to be super ambitious this year and set my goal at reading 150 books.

I'm already halfway to that point and still have 7 1/2 months of reading to go.

I think it's safe to say that I have had a very productive 5 months. This is mainly due to my lack of reliable access to computers and/or Internet. [And getting a car so I can drive myself to the library.] I finally am getting my laptop fixed, but then I come home and the Internet quits working for like five days. This is always what happens with me and technology.

At least the most recent books have all been really great. I still have trouble quitting reading books even when I can tell they're going to be bad I won't like them. Hence, the number of books I rated 2 stars [the one that has 1 star, I skipped through a lot].

Nevertheless, so many wonderful wonderful books.
I don't think I have anything else to say at this point. I've just been meaning to get something posted for a while and then noticed how many books I'd already read. And I'll be driving all over Texas [or just making a triangle between home, apartment, family and back home, but "all over" isn't so lengthy] this next week and doubt I'll be close to a computer during all that.

Instead, I'll probably get a lot more reading done.