Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Extremely Talented Professional Admits Performance Insecurities

Hila Plitmann, wife of Eric Whitacre of Virtual Choir fame, is a professional soprano of extraordinary talent, and yet in her blog article, "Great Expectation", she candidly describes the performance insecurities she faces and how she's learning to deal with them.

I love the comments that have been posted by her blog readers, a paraphrase here, an affirmation there.  My favourites are profoundly deaf Terry Burns defying the nay-sayers with his singing, and Amanda Craft who writes: "It is so refreshing when professionals stand up and help debunk the perfection myth. This kind of honest writing is so needed in the lives of young singers."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sing a Song of Sewing

I'm a singer/songwriter. I'm also a fashion journalist [visit Boutique Narelle here]. I looked at this sewing machine and saw a piano. =) Just had to share.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waltzing Forward

What a happy day I've had! I'm working on final edits to my "Magdala Waltz" with arranger extraordinaire Carolyn Ballinger Sjostrom (creator of "My Child"), and testing it out on guest audiences. =) =) =) Very encouraging responses thus far.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where to Find an Audience

I heard of a young lady in a small town who is passionate about performing music but doesn't know where to start doing so. If I could tell her one thing, it would be "read this article" >>>


Putting my personal music philosophy into words, US radio personality Devon O'Day terms it "a service business". There are opportunities to be seen and heard all around you and you just need to uncover them. Devon O’Day says singers should look for ways to engage [your] gifts through community service.

“One of the most important areas that singers, songwriters, and artists often miss, is the service aspect of what they do,” O’Day said. “There are organizations that meet weekly, that need inspiration, motivation, and your music.”

She suggests that singers work solo or as a group to create an inspiring presentation framed with a topic. This is what my accompanist Elaine Swanney and I have done in our small rural town. Our topics have included "The War Years" and Irish or Scottish celebrations which we share at old folks homes and activity programs. I have a stack of music folders labelled with themes such as "Follow Your Dreams" or "Hope" which I look forward to lodging in a public program.

In addition, I seek occasions to sing whenever we have guests in our home. I may ask for their thoughts on the latest song I've written, or I may sense as they leave that there is a need for a blessing or positive focus. (Have you noticed that conversation frequently centers on the negatives of our world?)

My favourite song to sing on these occasions is "My Child" by Carolyn Ballinger Sjostrom. Whenever I share this beautiful song (for which Carolyn has provided me with a piano backing track), it ministers deeply to our guests and I am rewarded through being able to give them such a gift.

On one occasion after hearing the song, a grandmother asked if I had a recording of it so she could share the blessing with her family. A few months later she repeated her request, hopeful of gifts for Christmas, and was very sorry when I again had to say no.

I will keep studying on how to solve my recording dilemma, and meanwhile, challenge you to join me in sharing your gift with those around you, where you are now. You may be surprised at the rewards it brings.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Discover What Drives Your Singing Success

I love this article, too! Reading through it, my mind was exclaiming "Yes! Yes!" When I got to the end, all I could say was, "Wow!"

So of course I had to share it with you. Discover What Drives Your Singing Success: http://www.singingsuccess.tv/forums/news/6869/

Helpful Questions for Quality Control

This post is in the form of a note-to-self exercise.  I'm studying Singing Success using Brett Manning's generous free resources, and hope one day to take advantage of the full program. Today, I'm reminding myself of and pointing you to four helpful questions for enhancing your presentation.

These simple questions are:
  1. What worked best?
  2. What didn’t work well/at all?
  3. What needs the most attention or work?
  4. What resources are needed to improve quality, performance, knowledge, expertise, communication? 
Click the link to read the full article, "The Right Questions to Enhance Performance" :  http://www.singingsuccess.tv/forums/news/6870/

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Message in a Bottle found on Lady Elliot Island

We've found her!

Narelle and Isabel say, "Posting this video on YouTube helped us find roma, the lady who sent the message in the bottle. Thank you to everyone who shared the video around the world! 

The bottle was returned to the sea, so there is a possibility that someone else will find it. If you do, we'd love to hear from you!"

PRESS RELEASE [16 July 2011]
What’s the most amazing thing you could find on a beach? Two New Zealand women think they’ve found it, and are keen to share its story through their YouTube video “Roma’s Message in a Bottle”. 

Narelle and Isabel Worboys invite you to help them find Roma by sharing the video with your friends.

Here's the YouTube link (new improved version): http://youtu.be/6WX3cGmY0u8

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Local Program Off the Cuff

On Friday I went to Rahiri as support for the cellist who was making her local debut. My mother has just passed Grade 4 cello after 18 months of study. It's her 'retirement fun' but she's worked really hard for it. She's such an inspiration to me. I set up her music stand & chair...and ended up singing several impromptu brackets to give her a rest! It's been 2 years since I did a local program. It felt so good to be back on the stage sharing music with an enthusiastic audience. Mum did really well. She gave them Tchaikovsky, Bach, Handel, Elgar, and Traditional melodies that had the audience humming, singing, and whistling along. And Stephen Foster. I don't think he's classified as Traditional, but the audience probably would have said so!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sheet Music for Roma's Message in a Bottle

I’m thinking of making “I Have Loved You” available as a sheet music download. Would you like it for acapella voice (as in Roma’s Message in a Bottle), or would you want it with an accompaniment?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Supersonic Music Source!

I LOVE www.Musicnotes.com!  Mum says, "We don't have the music for this song. How does it go?"  I say, "Let's check Musicnotes."  In 5 minutes we have the sheet music on the piano.  It couldn't get any better than that!!! =)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Songuine Enters the Fashion Industry!

I'm delighted that two of my entrepreneurial strands are coming together! The opening of the Boutique Narelle TV channel to compliment the Boutique Narelle website became possible when I found a legal source of backing music -- my own vocal productions.

The BNTV flagship video features the first recording I've done with a professional backing track. I loved creating it. I hope you enjoy the result. Let me know what you think!

Tech Note: The song was filmed on video and the audio extracted. The narration track was recorded with mp3 voice recorder. How does the balance sound for you?

ANZAC Song 2011: Blue Smoke

To commemorate ANZAC Day 2011, here's "Blue Smoke" by Ruru Karaitiana.*  If you're missing someone you love, this is especially for you.

*See the YouTube info box for more on this WWII musician from my hometown.

Ruru Karaitiana
Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
And when I think of home I sadly sigh.
Oh, I can see you there with loving tears in your eyes
As we fondly said our last goodbyes.
And as I sailed away with a longing to stay,
I promised I'd be true and to love only you.
Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die.

Do you think I'm progressing toward better video quality? I'd love to hear from you. Suggestions welcomed!

I'm pleased with the photographer, model, and stylist, but the audio technician is definitely lagging behind. She needs a tutor to teach her how to work the microphone and its software, and a studio to put them all in! April 25th arrived without a good audio solution, so she went with the trusty old mp3 recorder in the bathroom. By the time they had all that worked out, the poor vocalist was oversung!

As the tools and talents improve, the results can only get better. Thanks for stopping by, spending a little of your precious time with Songuine. May your life be filled with songs that lift you up and help you catch the wind.

Sail on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Virtual Choir 2.0: where in the world to find Narelle

I'm told my verbal directive for how you can find me in the virtual universe is not sufficient, so I've doctored the image. Find the green circle and you've found me on Planet Australia.

This extraordinary five minutes of international choralation is charging toward viral status. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link: http://youtu.be/6WhWDCw3Mng Find out what the world's so gob-smacked about!

If you're in Germany, you can view the video on Vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/22960177?ab

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On being a member of "Sleep" Virtual Choir 2.0

What it was like being a part of this record-breaking event

The music was more difficult than I'd attempted before, requiring control and dynamic flexibility that stretched me. I didn't have a teacher to help, but I found excellent support from the sheet music and Eric Whitacre's tutorial and conductor videos. I also studied other uploads to see if I was on track.

I loved working with a skilled conductor. Eric knows what he wants and leads with clarity. He also has a talent for connecting with his choir.  You see, the experience didn't stop once I'd uploaded the video of my vocal part.

With an earplug in one ear to hear the keyboard chords, I let Eric guide me through the choral labyrinth.

One bare voice goes public, trusting that this one strange part will be transformed by togetherness into captivating aural beauty. What a long 3 months of waiting it was until the New York Premiere on 7 April 2011!

My favourite testimony. There are many amazing stories, but I really connected with the isolation this lady describes.

Through social media, I've been able to converse with a music professional who generously allows me access to his knowledge and his friends. I've been able to ask for advice and share in online music experiences with others.

From my isolated, lonely place on the planet, I've become part of a universal, ongoing musical event. My health might limit my physical journey, but broadband internet has opened the world to me. I'm amazed and blessed to be given this opportunity.

Melody Myers, soloist in Virtual Choir 1.0, through whose YouTube channel I discovered Eric Whitacre's music and signed myself into the info loop.

Virtual Choir 1.0 -- the astonishingly beautiful "Lux Aurumque" (Light and Gold) that introduced Virtual Choir to the world. With 2 million hits and counting, you can view it here: http://youtu.be/D7o7BrlbaDs.
Filming my part was not a simple affair.
Camera and tripod perched on filing cabinet. Netbook connected to YouTube conductor track perched on hatbox on bookshelf. Blanket backdrop pinned over closet doors. Desk chair supporting spineless sound proofing. Stool and cushion for positioning artist. Lamp for cooking artist.
Helpful sound engineers advised me (by email) to use mattresses to absorb bounced sound. This was the best setup I could figure out in my small room. The mattress, borrowed from a neighbour, was so floppy that it soon folded over on itself, despite wavery support from the chair. I was relieved to discard it. Without the chair blocking the doorway (which had to be shut when recording, but open between takes on this sweltering summer's day), the task became slightly less complicated.

If you're wondering why I had my netbook perched in this unlikely position, it was because I wanted to keep my chin up while looking at the conductor. One thing I hadn't figured out was how helpful a video camera's flip screen can be, so all frame checks had to be done by climbing behind the mattress and leaning around the tripod without bumping the camera. Ah well, we live and learn.

SUCCESS: Listening to the playback from the camera, elated that I'd achieved my goal before the deadline. Excitement and cosmetics cover a multitude of weariness.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spotting Narelle in Virtual Choir 2.0

Here is the record-breaking video:

Did you find me in the choir's virtual universe?

I'm on the Australian planet (yes, well, what do we Kiwis think of that? lol). Planet Australia revolves past viewers between the phrases "Upon my pillow safe in bed" and "a thousand pictures fill my head" between 1:12 and 1:13 on the counter. Look directly above the word "Australia", second row above the word, at the highest face visible on the planet. That's me.

Here's an EarthView from Google showing where the "Planet Australia" singers are from. I will post details soon of what it was like to be one of them.

And here's the man who made it possible: Eric Whitacre.
I'm sorry I don't have a photo of Team Whitacre. As Eric says, he's just the face of the project. The technicians and management staff made it happen. I close this post with a heartfelt, enthusiastic roar of applause for TEAM WHITACRE!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extraordinary Journey

What an extraordinary journey I'm on. Living with such limitations, yet still given wonderful opportunities.

This week marks significant milestones on that journey. I'm on Australian TV and I'm part of the Virtual Choir World Premiere in New York. Yep. Extraordinary.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Narelle Singing on Aussie TV

On 5 dates this month, Australians have the chance to hear Narelle sing on TV with Jules Riding!

You can watch the Cataclysm live concert filmed in Auckland on 9 October 2010 by tuning in to ACCTV (online or on television) on these dates.

Tues, 5 April - 8pm
Wed, 6 April - 1.30pm
Thur, 7 April - 1am
Thur, 14 April - 8.30am
Fri, 15 April - 1.30pm

Viewers in SA and NT subtract 30 minutes, and viewers in WA subtract 2 hours.
Jules Riding is touring in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania this month. Check here for details: http://www.elkanah.org.nz/itinerary

These photos are from the Auckland concert filmed live for DVD. If you can't tune in to ACCTV on the above dates, you can view the tracks on www.YouTube.com/JulesRiding or buy the CD/DVD album or download from www.elkanah.org.nz. You can also view five clips of the New Zealand tour band at www.YouTube.com/Songuine.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

View the World Premiere of Virtual Choir 2.0 !

Have you heard of Virtual Choir? If you haven't seen the videos yet, they'll knock your socks off.

80s popstar wannabe Eric Whitacre, now superstar classical composer and conductor, reveals details of the Virtual Choir 1.0 and 2.0, and the latter's world premiere in just one week:

New Zealand gets honourable mention! I'm excited and amazed to think I'm part of such a project. Did you spot me in the virtual universe...? ; ) Here's a clue for what to look for:

You can view the world premiere streaming live from New York on 7 April 2011, 6pm ET.  http://www.paleycenter.org/2011-spring-eric-whitacre  In New Zealand, that will be 10am on Friday, 8 April.

Where ever you are in the world, I hope you'll join me for this history-making event!
Warm wishes,

If you'd like a text explanation of what is Virtual Choir, how it's done, and who is Eric Whitacre, click on this link and read the info box under the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geEm94ULVSQ

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Seeds of Possibility

I've been thinking about things we hear or see or people we meet that introduce us to possiblities we didn't know existed. This plants a seed, an idea, an inspiration that blossoms, and before we know it our life is transformed.

Who or what has done this in your life?

My voice journey began with a newspaper promotional of Charlotte Church's live-in-concert television special, "Enchantment". The photograph caught my attention. The article intrigued me. I asked a friend to record the program. As the title promised, I was enchanted. I found out who she was and located her first CD "Voice of an Angel" at The Warehouse.

Growing up, I listened to a high proportion of instrumental classical music. I didn't know voices like Charlotte's existed. That tv special opened a new world of musical enjoyment for me.

Charlotte got me listening to female soloists, but it was the principle singer in Riverdance that started me on the road to doing it. My sister bought the video and I watched it often, skipping the instrumental and Spanish dance parts so I could get to the vocal ensemble faster. Katie McMahon's voice was like nothing I'd heard or knew existed.  I was enthralled by her clarity and sweetness. It didn't occur to me that I could ever sing that way, but it changed the way I tried to sing.

A few years on in my musical journey, somewhere between singing "Irish Lullaby" at local retirement homes and recording "Looking at the Father" with Jules Riding in Auckland, I discovered I could sing like that.

What have you achieved that started from a small seed planted by a stranger or friend?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Being Committed

I'm working on being more committed to my performance, on being 100% in the moment and expressing the emotion, not distracted or holding back, but focused, passionate. How about you? Are you focusing your passion, or letting yourself be distracted? Are you committed?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love msg for Christchurch earthquake victims

The entire nation of New Zealand is in shock over the earthquake disaster in Christchurch on 22 February 2011. We're grieving for the victims, we're wondering why did we escape, how can we help, is there hope amongst the rubble?


Abide with me. Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, Lord, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim. It's glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Words by Henry Lyte
Music by W. H. Monk

Saturday, February 5, 2011

NZ Waitangi Day song - My Home and My Heartland

Do you love New Zealand? Make your Waitangi Day special by singing about it! To get you started, here's a song about our unique and beautiful country.


New Zealand, New Zealand,
My home and my heartland.
I love her cool glades and
her fern-shaded streams.
I roam with delight o'er her
mountains and beaches.
What land can excel her,
fair land of my own?
Men of every creed and race
gather here before God's face,
asking Him to bless this place.
God, defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
and corruption guard our State.
Make our country good and great.
God, defend New Zealand.

We have so much here that is good, don't we? What value do you place on that? Is it worth you protecting it?

I'm sure you know that good things don't happen by wishful thinking. They come from the purposeful hearts of individuals. My home is my heartland. I make it what I want it to be. How about you?

A Maori gentleman said on national radio this weekend that the Treaty of Waitangi was a treaty between man and God, so our starting point as a nation was in unity before the sovereign Almighty. Where are we as a nation today?  Do you sing this with me?...

"May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea.
Make us faithful unto Thee.
God defend New Zealand."

Medley arranged by Narelle Worboys
First verse adapted from "New Zealand, My Homeland", an heritage song by Robert J. Pope
Second verse from New Zealand's national anthem, "God of Nations", by Thomas Bracken and John Joseph Woods.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Narelle's miracle voice and how YouTube got her started

Those of you who knew Narelle as a teenager will know that her voice wasn't anything to exclaim about. Wondering what happened? Watch this video.

New videos - Cataclysm Tour with Jules Riding

 Below are the links to 4 songs filmed during the Masterton and Wellington concerts in November 2010.

You may have heard the Cataclysm CD or watched the DVD with the 16-member band, but you haven't experienced the tour version! The six members of the tour band created a sound we're very proud of. We hope it blesses you!

Cataclysm Tour - In Your Presence

Cataclysm Tour - Holy God

Cataclysm Tour - Follow the Lamb

Cataclysm Tour - Because of the Cross

Want your own copy of the Cataclysm album? Buy on iTunes, www.Amplifier.co.nz, or get both CD and DVD for the price of one! Click here to shop now at http://www.elkanah.org.nz

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What a mistake to make!

The saying goes,
A mistake is evidence that someone has tried to do something.

I'm always trying to do something, so mistakes decorate my existence like red bows on a Christmas tree.

Two days ago, I tried to send a nice, sensible message to my YouTube friends and subscribers. What I managed instead was to send a pile of invitations for them to join YouTube! Yes, as the rat who stood on the rake said, What a silly mistake to make. What was worse was that I still couldn't figure out how to send a message I typed myself, so I couldn't apologize!

I found two YouTube tutorials on how to do it, but the instructions wouldn't work for me, so I can only suppose that YouTube was sulking. I have yet to go back and try again.

If you're one of the nice, innocent people whose day I interrupted with a silly email, I'm sorry! I hope I won't do it again!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...