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Archive for May 25th, 2009

Susan Boyle Sings ‘Memory’. Worldwide Audience Not Likely To Forget (See Video)

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 25, 2009

In a few short weeks, this wonderful woman has arisen from the obscurity of her Scottish village, and gained the greatest number of ‘hits’ to YouTube. (This leaves out of account the vast number of accesses to her two songs April and May 2009) at other well-known Websites.  All of us have so much to learn from the Susan Boyle phenomenon – one which goes far beyond her wonderful voice. It is a topic not about how to sing – but rather about not judging people by their appearance, and in taking her example of courage in the face of social forces that frequently cripple our beings both as victims and perpetrators.  That makes the heart sing, with the conscience playing the accompaniment. Therefore, I make an exception in referring to her work in a blog not directly related to the central issues of

Nightingale About To Spread Its Wings

Susan Boyle (Or: Nightingale About To Spread Its Wings)

Relating her example to a theme germane to the purpose of this blogsite, I wrote at some length about Susan Boyle in my article:

Susan Boyle. Unexpected Divine Chanteuse. Sweet 47

Will We Change Our Ways?

Of course, one swallow – or, in this case, nightingale – does not make a Spring, and our lesson may not be well enough learnt. Is our judgemental eye-rolling done with? Have we – in relation to what public images of human beings are (allegedly!) ‘acceptable’ – wrestled free from the dictates of Hollywood and Bollywood and the advertizing, fashion and entertainment industries? Supposing Susan Boyle had not been able to sing like an angel. Supposing we all continue judging people on their appearance. Or that we do not – in our families, social, educational, political and religious spheres of influence, workplaces, and so on, work to stop the inhumanity of judgementalness based on a person’s physical appearance, race, creed, culture and so forth. From my previous article on Susan Boyle, I copy at the foot of this article the lovely and most touching reaction of a young boy and girl to Ms Boyle’s first appearance on ‘Britain’s Got talent’.

Ms Boyle’s Performance of Yesterday

In the semi-final of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, though the Scottish nightingale’s first notes started unsteadily as she sang “Memory” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ‘Cats‘, the massive audience around the world will forget the slight slips and remember the overall performance.

One of the three judges, Amanda Holdern (the others were (Simon Covell and Piers Morgan) was mistaken: Ma Boyle did not ‘nail’ the song. (How come, by the way, Covel is a judge when he has already declared the prime interest in managing Ms Boyle’s career?). There are real questions about her choice of song, and about whether she had thought through the ‘build’ of the song. She needed entire focus and self-possession in the first note of the song, which jumped off-key. What she showed, though, was the personable sweetness, the humanity, the  true grit and the ability to recover from a mistake that all serious performers require.

The fair question is – what great performer has not messed up a song, particularly at the beginning of their career? Ms Boyle is both ‘infant’ and ‘giant’ as a singer and will have to undergo, as she continues in her development, the same struggles with technique, focus, building the song, awareness of both self and song, control of nerves and so on that all artists have to pass through.  A nightingale she most certainly is, as millions of ‘hits’ on Youtube and elsewhere would attest. Only time will tell whether she is a great nightingale. Certainly, she has what countless ‘artists’ lack – being in touch with her authentic and essential self.

She will need to recover the extraordinary freshness, forthrightness and self-belief she showed throughout her first appearance, when she sang “I Dreamed A Dream” from ‘Les Miserables’.

Click  HERE to view and hear Susan Boyle singing ‘Memory’

Scottish Nightingale Alights Again

Scottish Nightingale Alights Again

Here are the responses of two children to whose lovely responses on the Susan Boyle video segment I was privy, and wrote down verbatim straight after:

6-year old girl

Adult: Why did all the people laugh at the lady when she walked on stage?

Girl: Because she is fat they think she can’t sing, and they don’t want her to be on the stage.

Adult: Why did the people change their mind?

Girl: Because she sang so beautifully.

9 year old boy

Adult: What did you reckon about the lady?

Boy: She’s not scared. She didn’t care what the people thought, she walked fastly and stood straight.

The Divine Ms Boyle. Coming World, Ready Or Not The Divine Ms Boyle. Coming World, Ready Or Not.  Source: YouTube. April 2009. To view the video that the world is viewing, click on photo

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