Tag Archive: HorizonVU Music


Louise Goffin
Good Times Call
Majority of One

Visit Louise Goffin at Facebook and iTunes

Louise Goffin has released “Good Times Call”, a single that’s sure to lift you up smiling. You’ll recall that since 2002, she’s recorded “Sometimes a Circle”,”Where You Lead” with her mother Carole King, “Bad Little Animals” and in 2014, and she recorded her sixth studio album, “Songs from the Mine”, featuring Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on the single “Watching the Sky Turn Blue.” Over the holidays we joyfully received “New Year’s Day” featuring Billy Valentine. Louise has an affinity for recording songs that are just incredibly winning and pleasurable. “Good Times Call” is pop/pop-rock that’s got a great beat, melody line, and hey, it’s fun. Surely you afford .99 cents in exchange something happy!


Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Your Body-Your Instrument-is Smarter Than Your Mind
by Sally

Your body is smarter than your mind. Your body is your singing instrument. So why does singing seem to be so difficult? Sing Like You Speak™ is here to teach you it ain’t necessarily so.

Breathing is completely natural. You are reading this, so your breathing is working – you are alive.

And yet when it comes to singing, we second-guess or even doubt the body’s natural ability. We actually override nature by overthinking the process and relying on the mind to ‘figure it out’ instead of trusting the natural process of breathing and phonation. We actually invite the mind to participate in a perfectly natural process.

Does this sound familiar?

You take an inhale and you immediately think, that isn’t enough air to get through the phrase! So you push and pull at the muscles of your abdomen to “help” your singing process.

But guess what? You run out of breath even faster!

That’s what happens when you take a subconscious process – breathing – and make it a conscious process.

The purpose of your inhale is to open the whole instrument. It is to open your resonators, release the jaw and larynx and open all the way down to the lower back and abdominal muscles, thus activating those powerful muscles that will naturally work to propel breath and sound easily through your open instrument.

When I was developing Sing Like You Speak™ my contemporary vocal technique, I could not ignore the fact that singing is natural. And if singing is natural and breathing is natural – what makes singing so difficult?

Makes singing difficult…

Voice teachers who tell you to manipulate and force the physical instrument

Trying to imitate most singers recorded after 1997 where the singer has been recorded (first was Roy Vedas Fragments of Life) and then a sound engineer has manipulated the voice for better pitch, tone quality, rhythm. You are not listening to a voice but to an electronically altered sound that cannot be imitated by the human instrument.

Myths or false thoughts about the effort involved in singing

Trusting the mind and not the body

Sing Like You Speak™ always uses the natural physiological process for simple, healthy signing. Your inhale is to open the instrument. Done right, releases the jaw, tongue and larynx, opens resonators and activates the very intelligent low abdominal and back muscles. That sounds like a lot to do but it can be achieved with one thought.

When I have new voice students who has studied voice with another teacher in the past there’s always a conversation that goes something like this.

Student: That’s it? That’s all you do to inhale?

Sally: Absolutely! A simple opening inhale.

Student: But how do I get enough air to sing a long phrase or to sustain a pitch?

Sally: With a simple opening inhale. It seems you want to feel how much effort you are using to breathe.

Student: Of course. The effort tells me that I’ve gotten a good inhale.

Sally: Aren’t you taking lessons to learn how your singing can be effortless?

Student: Well, I didn’t really believe that it could be easy. My last teacher taught me to push out on the inhale and pull in like crazy to exhale.

Sally: Yes, that’s typical old-school teaching. Let’s experiment with a simple, opening inhale.

First step is a simple, opening inhale…

Align your instrument collarbones wide, head on top of the body
Release the jaw and tongue
Feel as though you are opening your instrument all the way to your bottom
Blow the breath out and simply observe how the abdominal and lower back muscles are working – just observe to not interfere.
Use the above breathing process for our experiment proving how brilliant the body can be. No pushing or pulling of belly muscle allowed!

Experiment 1

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying an FFFFFF
Observe what muscles are working
Experiment 2

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a VVVVV (be a motorcycle)
Observe what muscles are working
Experiment 3

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a ZZZZZ (be a bumble bee)
Observe what muscles are working
Experiment 4

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale sighing an MMMMM
Observe what muscles are working
What did you observe?

If you were able to perform the simply opening inhale then with each experiment you felt a different set of muscles working. The physical intelligence of your instrument chose which muscles to use. Your physical intelligence simply knows what to do. Your mind cannot possibly figure out how to use different muscles for different consonant sounds.

I love the fact that my physical intelligence takes over the singing process when I allow it to. Taking the process out of my mind and putting it into the body where it belongs lets me focus on the music, on phrasing, on character, on enjoying the massive vibration of my sound and having a blast doing so!

For many more tips and much more practical vocal training, join the Sing Like You Speak™ Academy!


Hollie Cook
Vessel of Love
Merge

Visit Hollie Cook at Facebook and iTunes

We’ve zeroed in on Hollie Cook’s third album, “Vessel of Love” as this week’s pick. Whether you want to categorize Cook’s work as roots, rock, reggae, or “tropical pop”, it really doesn’t matter. Her enticing vocals are very smooth and creamy making this release every bit worth adding to your collection. You can have a look and listen to “Survive” posted below, but there are other outstanding tracks. In particular, check out “Stay Alive” and “Lunar Addiction”. Producer Youth (Martin Glover) worked on the album bringing his exceptional competence with dub and electronic music. Go for it!


Starcrawler
Starcrawler
Rough Trade

Visit Starcrawler at Facebook and iTunes

If you’re out for smack-you-in-the-face rock, Starcrawler’s self-titled release is just what you need. Arrow de Wilde is frontwoman, and while she’s been recognized for her raucous stage performances, the album gives her vocals a chance to break through on their own, which they do beyond doubt. Her power delivery brings to mind the better days of Courtney Love and she has plenty of power so as to not lose coherence surrounded by the muscle provided by band members; Henri Cash (guitar); Austin Smith (drums); and Tim Franco (bass). Yes, there’s plenty high-powered, raw energy rock with shades of soft metal and post-punk to make you jump up-and-down. The opening track, “Train” will bring you on board with tough and loud, but go on to “I Love LA” and “Full of Pride”, which are softer without loss of delivery and give the band what you might find to be a core identity. The album’s closing track “What I Want” is rock-rock featuring Arrow’s reverbed vocals accentuated by power chords and Smith’s drumming. Finally, multi-talented Ryan Adams deserves credit for having produced the album. If you’re thinking about the first download of the year, go for “Starcrawler”.


Jaguwar
Ringthing
Tapete Records

Visit Jaguwar at Facebook and iTunes

We’re back with our “Pick of the Week”. We haven’t been slacking off over the holidays, we just didn’t see (or hear) new releases that made for a good HorizonVU fit. Jaguwar, the Dresden trio of Lemmy Fischer (vocals/guitar), Oyèmi Noize (vocals/bass) and Christoph Krenkel (drums) have released their LP “Ringthing” (as in the Electro-Harmonix single sideband modulator) and the album’s content certainly stays in line with its title. The band offers up a cornucopia of special effects ranging from noise and sweeps through to inventive applications of dynamics, which are truly notable. There are also some great vocals from Fischer and Noize on “Night Out” and “Whales”, for example. It is the case that while the all the effects tracks swirl and twirl through the songs they don’t leave much room for the vocals to live often getting in the way. Nevertheless, the LP is solid and offers up some well written and well-executed tracks. It’s likely that you’ll enjoy the melodies, and frankly, the album might serve as a reference work for alternative/shoegaze.


Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

3 Steps to Prevent Vocal Damage
by Sally

Singers who are not familiar with vocal training or have had bad experiences with a voice teacher who does not understand the natural nature of the voice, have good reason to shy away from singing lessons. I’ve heard horror stories from singers who after these bad experiences find their way to my studio.

So you would rather do permanent damage to your delicate vocal cords than to sound “trained”? Not the wisest choice and so not necessary! Video training.

3 Steps to Prevent Vocal Damage straight from the Sing Like You Speak™ workbook:

Inhale to open the body – your instrument. Use your inhale not go haul breath into the lungs, but to open the airways that breath and sound flow along as you sing. Open in this sequence…

1. Widen the nasal passages
2. Unhinge the jaw
3. Open the throat
4. Feel the opening all the way to your bottom

Note: Focus on opening one step at a time. Eventually the whole instrument will open with one thought.

2. Exhale to release breath and sound. Release mean to let go, not to push or strain or struggle. Release the breath and sound along the open path created by your opening inhale.

1. Resist the urge to push and allow the muscles to strengthen that will make your voice powerful.
2. Consonants connect your to the deep abdominal and back muscles that propel the voice through your body effortlessly. Use them!
3. It can feel like you are releasing so much air that you’re going to die. Not to worry. No one has ever died from singing however the feeling can be very strong. Just keep releasing and you will eventually crave the luxurious release of breath.

Note: Voice training takes time and laser focus on the task. You are changing habits developed over your lifetime. You are challenging the beliefs that you have held in mind about singing. Hint: those beliefs are all lies!

3. Communicate! It’s all about communicating through the music, lyrics and rhythm. Audiences respond to and bond with a performer’s clearly spoke words.

1. Begin by knowing what you want to say with the song.
2. Figure out who you are saying it to and picture that person right there in front of you.
3. Allow the song to speak through you.

Note: When you sing like you speak communication happens naturally. When your focus is on telling the story of the song, it takes your mind away from your “that’s not enough” thoughts and releases breath and sound.

Communication is compelling, captivating and charismatic. It does not require that you hurt yourself.

Incorporate the above tips to begin your journey to vocal health.

What would you like to learn about singing? Ask me a question in the comments section below and I will answer with another blog post – especially you DIY musicians. Get answers before you get vocal damage!

For many more tips and much more practical vocal training, join the Sing Like You Speak™ Academy!


QTY
QTY
Dirty Hit

Visit at Facebook and iTunes

New York guitarists-singers Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz have released their 10-track album, which opens with one rockin’ track “Rodeo” (released last year as a single) and closes with the exceptionally well-crafted “Salvation”. Great male/female vocals combine with solid instrumental performances to deliver often brilliant compositions/lyrics. Though the recording was actually done in London with London with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, the duo (or foursome seen live) really is New Yorker and there are most certainly some “Lou Reed” flashbacks to be heard. “Dress/Undress” is our selected favorite track for all of the above reasons with emphasis on the finely executed vocals. Besides, it does bring to mind day-in/out life in The Big Apple”.


The Staves / yMusic
The Way Is Read
Nonesuch

Visit The Staves at Facebook and iTunes

Visit yMusic at Facebook and iTunes

The Staves are an English folk rock trio of sisters Jessica, Camilla and Emily Staveley-Taylor from Watford, Hertfordshire, England. yMusic is a sextet chamber ensemble from New York City. Consisting of a trumpet, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, and cello, the group was formed in Brooklyn in 2008. The collaborative release “The Way Is Read” might take some extra effort to appreciate, but the album reveals both the musical differences between the two groups as well as the anticipation the music creates by bringing together consonance and dissonance. The perpendicularity of the groups is evident in the first two tracks “Hopeless” (an a cappella track from the sisters) and “Take Me Home” (art music progressivity from yMusic). The collaboration comes together and bares fruit over the remaining ten tracks. The final and title track “The Way Is Read” is unequivocally the highlight; a beautiful recording in which all talent shines through. If you’re really wanting to appreciate the collaboration, one approach is to listen to the two groups on their own. For example, have a listen to The Staves’ “If I Was” and yMusic’s “Beautiful Mechanical” then have a listen to “The Way I Read”. Realizing this might be more effort than you care to invest, go with the collaborative release, but again, be patient and have more than one good listen.


Despite the fact that November is the month where coldness worsens and Christmas fast approaches, we at ECU have been so focused on our quest of discovering and sharing with you the very best of indie film, that we haven’t even picked out a festive jumper to wear, let alone started our letters to Papa Noel. And we do it all (well, partially) for you, our dear followers!

We once again searched the souls of film’s finest with our regular Spotlight feature, this month including profiles on Richard Kelly, Jia Zhangke, Tom Hardy, and Paul Dano, as well as offering some in-depth analysis on the films The Killing of a Secret Deer, Sing Street, and Loving Vincent, all to be found on our cracking blog.

Outside of our Paris office, however, we found ourselves on many adventures, not least having the absolute pleasure of once again attending the Aesthetica Film Festival from the 8th-12th November. We saw a plethora of incredible films, all located in different buildings in the beautiful city of York, England. We had an amazing time there and hope we get the honour of being invited back next year!

From the quaint British North, we found ourselves leapfrogging to the other side of the metaphorical pond as ECU On-The-Road ventured to Celaya, Mexico, to screen some of the best films of last year’s films at the International Film Festival Celayas (FICC) from the 24th-26th of this month. It was truly awe-inspiring to be part of such a haven of filmmakers and enthusiasts and to witness the films we cherish so much being played to, and adored by, a whole new audience. Hasta pronto, Mexico!

One thing, however, that is definitely approaching quicker than our next trip to Mexico (sob sob) is the Early Bird Deadline for film submissions, coming up this month. Sunday 17th December is the final day you can submit for this deadline with 23:59 ETC being the exact minute it ends. Make sure you don’t miss it!

That’s all the updates we have for you for now. If you don’t think you can wait another whole month to hear about our crazy shenanigans, don’t forget to check out our social media pages (click to see our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) for constant (and I mean constant) updates of what we are up to.


Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Voice Training without Sounding “Trained”
by Sally

SXSW® South by Southwest Conference® and Festivals has asked me to present a Sing Like You Speak™ workshop in March 2018! I will have 2 hours to share the brilliance of the Sing Like You Speak™ technique with 100’s (possibly 1000’s) of singers from all over the world.

This is an amazing honor and a dream come true for me. SXSW® is an iconic global music industry event that attracts more the 30,000 people. It embodies the DIY spirit, ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive.

When I first spoke with Bobby Nall of SXSW® last summer, I told him that I love working with DIY musicians. The challenge as a voice teacher is that this population of singers usually waits until they have some form of vocal damage before they seek my help. It is only then that they realize if they are going to have a career as a singer – any chance at all – then they have to have a healthy technique to heal and prevent further damage.

Bobby said with great enthusiasm that I should submit my proposal – that this workshop is perfect for SXSW® DIY musicians.

My mission, my intention for the 2 hours that I have to present to a very large audience of singers, is to give them a few of my most effective tools to keep their voices healthy and strong.

This is the first line of my proposal to SXSW®:

Sing your songs with the same originality and craft as you write without sounding trained.

There is a revolution happening with contemporary singers. It used to be that they thought voice training was 43618459_munnecessary. They would change their minds when they got vocal damage and came to me in a panic.

Now contemporary singers tell me that they do realize that voice training is not only good, it’s absolutely necessary to their vocal health and to their careers.

“But I don’t want to sound trained! I don’t want to sound like an opera singer. I want to sound natural – like me (only better).”

I completely understand, having studied with opera singers for many years, and not getting what I needed as a contemporary singer. That is why I developed Sing Like You Speak™. I needed the same type of training so I could sing freely and easily without sounding affected or “classical.”

Here’s a video from my YouTube channel with some great voice training that will not make you sound “trained.”

Still have questions? Check out my website and get 10 free voice lessons!

Click here for the best voice lessons on the web!


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