Updated: Feb 3
Many members of my Facebook group "Sing Higher, Louder and Effortlessly" have been posting Holiday songs. I wanted to join in the chorus by making my own contribution, therefore I chose to sing a childhood favourite of mine: Douce nuit, sainte nuit
When learning a song, whether it is new or I just need to re-familiarize myself with it, I usually follow a specific process.
First, I had to think about the big picture behind the song and what I wished to accomplish. I was hoping to sing something uplifting as opposed to too serious and solemn. This guided me in picking a slightly higher key than most versions out there, as well as one with a faster tempo. In fact, when I played this to my partner, he found it too fast and suggested to slow it down. He said that it was supposed to be slow and calm. But you know what? "Supposed to" is boring, haha! And there is no fun in doing the same as what everybody else already does. Christmas is a time to rejoice. It's not everyday that Jesus Christ the Messiah is born! So I went ahead with Karafun.com's festive version. With that said, I do want to keep the overall performance somewhat traditional.
I probably could have found a higher quality track had I remembered what the English title equivalent of that song is called, but all I could think of in the moment was the direct translation of "Holy Night" instead of "Silent Night". In retrospect, searching with the French title limited my outcome in terms of instrumental tracks; oh well!
Second, I YouTubed a few versions to get inspired by other singers who covered it. Celine Dion and Marie-Hélène Thibert sing it beautifully!
I didn't want to spend too much time on this so I only practiced Sainte Nuit a few times on my own, To make the verses more interesting, I decided to sing the melody slightly differently every time. Subtle changes in the rhythm add interest to the meaning of the lyrics of the second verse for example. I tried to keep my tone light and vibrant to keep in context with my celebratory mindset.
Technically speaking, this song has some belting points reaching right at the limit of one of my breaks so listening back to it, I noticed that a couple of spots were a tiny bit flat! I left it this way since I don't know how to use Autotune (and don't really want to anyway)! They say character is in the flaws ;)
Finally, since I wanted to give this song a more glorious and high-spirited flavour, I decided to include a run in the finale. This is of course the part of the song that I enjoy singing the most. I love it when my whole body vibrates to the sound of my voice!
I'm satisfied with how I mixed the song although I do want to learn how to improve my audio engineering skills. That is a weakness for me and a potential area of improvement for sure, but it will do for the time being. Here it is:
Singing makes me happy. It's important for me to share this positive energy in my music, so I smile a lot when I sing. Can you tell? If singing also brings you joy and you are interested in bettering your vocal skills, please hit me up for your free consultation and it will be my pleasure to assist you!
Two more sleeps,