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Dragon*Con Friday: Elvish Singing!

elvishtard and me. Photo by Anya Martin on Facebook


I made the mistake of thinking I could dress as Luminara and make an 11:30 panel. I didn’t make the panel. ;P

I needed to get with finarfiniel about the Elvish singing panel I was helping her with later that day. We had made numerous e-mail exchanges of music, mp3 files, etc. Kate brought an outline and we talked about pronunciations – we wanted to be a united front, as there are several opinions on this topic.

The panel itself was really fun. I’m not good at estimating turnout, but Kate had printed 25 copies of the music, and they ran out quickly. There were maybe 40-50 in the room. We divided the room into two sections with Kate leading the higher voices and me leading the lower ones.

We started by singing “Into the West” in unison. Kate had made a background CD, which, to my delight, was two keys down from the original. This put it in the basement for Kate, but it was perfect for me. ;)

We moved on to “In Dreams.” The solo is sung by a boy soprano. Kate had written a two-part arrangement for this. Her group took the lead; my group did the chorus. At first, my group didn’t want to sing that part because it’s not as interesting, but I promised, we would have the lead on the next one, and it would be very challenging. They were enthused and stuck with me.

“In Dreams” sounded very good, and we moved on to some Elvish with “Lament for Gandalf.” JP/Gandalf was in the room, and we said, “You might want to leave.” ;)

We talked briefly about pronunciations and spoke the lyrics before attempting to sing them. This is not an easy piece, and it was done a capella (no background music - just our voices), which is a very impressive thing, especially with a volunteer, impromptu chorus. I was really happy with how it sounded.

You can hear most of "Lament for Gandalf" below, but don't let the picture fool you: this is not from the complete recordings. It's the truncated version from the LOTR soundtrack album. Lament starts at 2:33

Last, we sang a song from the Lord of the Rings Musical, “Song of Hope.” It is a pretty song, very different from Howard Shore’s style, but I had to let Kate take the lead on this one. Fortunately, she had not written a second part.

Kate and I are both pretty confident in our abilities, and we got on well together, though we had not known each other before this. People participating really seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did.

Later, we sang “In Dreams” and “Lament for Gandalf” at the “Evening in Bree” Party with a few volunteers from the earlier panel.

While spending the bulk of my day in Middle Earth, I was dressed as Luminara Unduli from Star Wars, but she carries the Lightsaber of Earendil, so it was OK. ;)

I left Bree around 10:30 and headed to the Chicago room to see if I could meet noelleleithe who volunteers at D*C. And sure enough, she was there. I felt a little bad for the woman who sat almost between us, but who was not interested in our conversation. Shannon and I dissed about Nuke and the death of Reid (That day’s show had ended with a close up of his face before the train collided with his car).

It’s a little weird that my costuming world and my Nuke world came together a couple of times that weekend, and I was also trying to keep up with the show while at the convention – nearly impossible! But it won't be a problem next year; the show wraps up this Friday after 54 years on the air.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
I would have loved to be at the Elvish singing! Thanks for this update!
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
It was so much fun!
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing the incredible photos! :-)
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like them.
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
man I'm sorry I missed the singing, I wanted to go... oh well... glad you had fun, perhaps next year? ;)
Sep. 16th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
Yes, I think we will be doing it again next year. :)
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
yay! hopefully I wont be so busy I forget to look at the time again...
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
I kinda like it.
Sep. 16th, 2010 10:16 am (UTC)

Sep. 16th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
Sorry you're still feeling cruddy. :(

That's great you got to meet up with Shannon. And LOL, poor woman who was stuck in between you two talking about the show.

On one hand I'm glad it's almost over, but on the other... it's going to be weird to be without it. It's become so much a part of my daily routine. I just hope tomorrow's scenes will be a decent ending for the boys.

Edited at 2010-09-16 01:21 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
I kind of feel like last week was the big climax for the boys. This is just the "wrap-it-all-up-and-hope-Luke-&-Noah-live-happily-ever-after" week.
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
I would love to attend a this workshop someday in the future. I am an ex boy soprano who can still sing up there in the treble because of very good training all through life, which I like to use when singing to the Elvish music from the soundtracks. How glorious to join voices with others as you did.
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
I never had any significant one-on-one training. I had some excellent choir directors in Jr. and Sr. high, who taught me how to use my diaphragm, etc. Beyond that, I'm self-taught.

I have a decent range, but prefer to sing tenor most of the time.
Sep. 16th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
I love the bass baritone range best, can sing tenor until it gets up there, then I leave chest voice and abdicate to the treble where I can still manage and have a cool boy treble gone turbo sound. My bass baritone is self taught, and while very powerful and people seem to love it, I feel it needs honing, the boy soprano I've been doing since 8, so it's agile and polished.
Sep. 16th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
Maybe I'll get to hear you someday. :)
Sep. 16th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
We'll have to sing together one of these cons.
Sep. 16th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
I heard such awesome things about the Elf Choir, and was literally blown away by the preformance at Bree! Seriously, you and Kate are astounding!

I hope to attend it next year!

Also...love that pic of us!!
Sep. 16th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
Bree was fun, but it sounded even better earlier with more voices.

I'll tag you in that picture so it shows up on your FB page. :)
Sep. 16th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
The Elf Choir was totally one of the highlights of con this year. And your Luminara costume is amazing!
Sep. 16th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! Elf Choir was one of the highlights for me, too.

It's kind of fun to dig out a costume I hadn't worn to D*C in a fews years. She is always well-received. It speaks to the eternal popularity of Star Wars.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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