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one of those "how did he do that?" threads featuring Carl Anderson

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srs7593
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7puzVzrzZWs I can't pick apart what he's doing about 53 seconds in when he says "does he care for me." The word me is a relatively pure "ee" and I have no clue how he places it. He doesn't sound like he's lightened up at all for that high C and the growl there is just otherworldly. Can anyone here replicate that or shed any light?

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The only light I can shed is that Carl Anderson was perfectly cast for this role. I don't know how much Andrew Lloyd Weber got to influence casting but, in this movie, everything went right.

For example, Ted Neely might have been wrongly placed if he was cast as Judas. Instead, they chose Carl for the role, wisely.

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And I wanted to elucidate my point more clearly. Both Carl and Ted could sing high notes and could probably adequately sing either role. But when it came time to choose which voice better fits which role, that's where some aesthetic decisions had to be made. A toughie, for sure.

As for a comparison between Murray Head and Carl Anderson, I think Carl had the lighter tessitura. It seems Murray had more low end, almost lyric baritone qualities and his high notes sounded a little strained and certainly tonally different than Carl's.

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Neeley definitely had the lower tessitura of the two and I think Jesus's role can get by on and to some degree even requires a lower tessitura. Jesus has large jumps and superhuman sounding screams that many people do in falsetto, but he does a lot of crooning and baritone-esque belting. Whereas Judas needs more soul in his high notes, more stamina in the upper register, and more coloratura. All of which which generally translate to more consistent placement through passages. It can be done with technical ability alone, but it will tend to be transparent and may lack sincerity.

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That's a totally rockin' answer, S. I completely agree with your assessment and it was definitely what I was thinking when I thought about what the casting criteria for this movie would have been.

I think Neely had the right "feel" for the role and I like his better than the performance of Ian Gillan, though I like that singer, too. And maybe it's just personal opinion getting in the way of aesthetic judgement. But I felt that Gillan seemed a bit "arrogant." Opposed to Neely's humble yet questioning thing. To make matters worse, Neely really is humble in real life.

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Especially at the age (in 2006) of seisente-tres.

Then again, singing voice dynamically can be different than speaking voice. In the mornings, first getting up, I can speak an A2 but my speaking voice is at low volume, like Neely's is. Singing is a different matter, for me.

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srs,

here's my take on all of these short, vocal moments of absolute greatness that makes you just want to hit rewind over and over they're so great..,...

there's almost always a "beyond serious emotional committment" going on. the singer has completely let go of any inhibitions and just lets it happen.....lets it all hang out.

no holding back and serious intense focus.

as an example, here's one of my all-time favorites...listen to the balls to the wall screaming yet (and this is the important part) it's still has that melodic core. i love this part.

by the way, for you younger folks out there, this is the same band that bought you "dust in the wind."

it's a great, great vocal i.m.o......

from 4:10 to 4:38

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Oh man, brother Bob, that takes me way back. I have, on phonograph, no less, everything Kansas recorded up through Vinyl Confessions.

Let me see if my skills are up to it. The album cover picture shows:

Center, seated, Bassist Dave Hope.

Left of him, drummer Phil Ehart.

Standing, with the tow-headed blonde hair, Kerry Livegren, founder of the band, lead guitar player.

Standing, next to him, Robby Steinhardt, violinist and second vocalist (baritone).

Seated in front of him, with crossed legs is lead singer and keyboardist, Steve Walsh. (Yes, Steve looks native american, no, he doesn't know. He was adopted and the records are still sealed and he doesn't care to find out.)

Seated in front, classically trained guitarist, lead and rhythm guitar, Rich Williams.

booyah, top that ...

Actually, the only one that might correct me is Geno, the other major Kansas freak, here.

And your post is very zen, like the second book I am reading now (I sometimes read two at a time) "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. The point of practice is to have the skill down so that you can float free in the music, a la Thelonius Monk or Myles Davis.

And the problem with most people's practice is that they get in a hurry. The take it slow on the first 8 bars. And then get impationt, ready for the professional sound. When really, you've got to slow down and develope each part of the song until it s a seamless whole of "figured out" parts.

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Oh man, brother Bob, that takes me way back. I have, on phonograph, no less, everything Kansas recorded up through Vinyl Confessions.

Let me see if my skills are up to it. The album cover picture shows:

Center, seated, Bassist Dave Hope.

Left of him, drummer Phil Ehart.

Standing, with the tow-headed blonde hair, Kerry Livegren, founder of the band, lead guitar player.

Standing, next to him, Robby Steinhardt, violinist and second vocalist (baritone).

Seated in front of him, with crossed legs is lead singer and keyboardist, Steve Walsh. (Yes, Steve looks native american, no, he doesn't know. He was adopted and the records are still sealed and he doesn't care to find out.)

Seated in front, classically trained guitarist, lead and rhythm guitar, Rich Williams.

booyah, top that ...

Actually, the only one that might correct me is Geno, the other major Kansas freak, here.

And your post is very zen, like the second book I am reading now (I sometimes read two at a time) "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. The point of practice is to have the skill down so that you can float free in the music, a la Thelonius Monk or Myles Davis.

And the problem with most people's practice is that they get in a hurry. The take it slow on the first 8 bars. And then get impationt, ready for the professional sound. When really, you've got to slow down and develope each part of the song until it s a seamless whole of "figured out" parts.

ron, as usual your trivia is excellent.

i saw kansas over a dozen times and there was no stopping walsh in his heyday. his high notes were so, so, good. he was the most "non kansas" of the group, and i'm sure he wanted the big solo career. what a voice he had.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7puzVzrzZWs I can't pick apart what he's doing about 53 seconds in when he says "does he care for me." The word me is a relatively pure "ee" and I have no clue how he places it. He doesn't sound like he's lightened up at all for that high C and the growl there is just otherworldly. Can anyone here replicate that or shed any light?

Those high powerful notes are just plain old curbing/mixed voice. Just check out the line just before "does he care for me" - it goes "does he love me too". Those vowels aren't very open but not very closed, either. It's the twang and the cry/hold/cord compression that gives the sound driving power.

That's the clean stuff. When he adds the rasp, he just increases the twang and the intensity and even the volume a bit.

This is something that pretty much all these greatest singers are doing. That compressed sound on those high notes, the slightly "held back", compressed sound. With this technique, you must be careful not to get TOO loud and also not to open the mouth too much. Just check out the guy in the clip - his mouth doesn't open very much on those high notes at around 0:55.

Bob, I agree with your comment on "letting go of your inhibitions and just letting it happen". That's a part of what must happen. BUT for most people it simply will not work to tell them this. You can "just let go" pretty much forever and never, ever find that golden sound so many of us crave. But there IS a fairly specific formula for it. I'm getting better at harnessing and controlling that sound but I haven't mastered it yet, so on some days I just fail miserably to do it. But I have a short check list that I go through when I sing. ALL the items on that list must be present if I want to sing in that style - that "compressed sound" (I'm using this term here because many people here are getting tired of the terms mixed voice and curbing).

That's my 5 cents right now.

Cheers,

Jon.

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Those high powerful notes are just plain old curbing/mixed voice. Just check out the line just before "does he care for me" - it goes "does he love me too". Those vowels aren't very open but not very closed, either. It's the twang and the cry/hold/cord compression that gives the sound driving power.

That's the clean stuff. When he adds the rasp, he just increases the twang and the intensity and even the volume a bit.

This is something that pretty much all these greatest singers are doing. That compressed sound on those high notes, the slightly "held back", compressed sound. With this technique, you must be careful not to get TOO loud and also not to open the mouth too much. Just check out the guy in the clip - his mouth doesn't open very much on those high notes at around 0:55.

Bob, I agree with your comment on "letting go of your inhibitions and just letting it happen". That's a part of what must happen. BUT for most people it simply will not work to tell them this. You can "just let go" pretty much forever and never, ever find that golden sound so many of us crave. But there IS a fairly specific formula for it. I'm getting better at harnessing and controlling that sound but I haven't mastered it yet, so on some days I just fail miserably to do it. But I have a short check list that I go through when I sing. ALL the items on that list must be present if I want to sing in that style - that "compressed sound" (I'm using this term here because many people here are getting tired of the terms mixed voice and curbing).

That's my 5 cents right now.

Cheers,

Jon.

jon, i respect everything you're saying, but (just my i.m.h.o.) if the emotional commitment is missing, you can have all the technique in the world, it just isn't going to get into the hearts of the audience.

it might even hinder technique! yes, it's true!

the emotional commitment is the big "risk" and there are a lot of singers who sound technically supreme, but fail to reach the audience.

they haven't learned to release themselves to vulnerability. for some people, it's very scary to show vulnerability .

you say that all the items must be present to sing in that style, but respectfully i'm not sure i agree. i'm a firm believer in the best vocal moments come when you're least concerned with technique.

i just wanted to get that out to ya buddy....you probably agree too...i just think sometimes we focus a little too much on technique.

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jon, i respect everything you're saying, but (just my i.m.h.o.) if the emotional commitment is missing, you can have all the technique in the world, it just isn't going to get into the hearts of the audience.

it might even hinder technique! yes, it's true!

the emotional commitment is the big "risk" and there are a lot of singers who sound technically supreme, but fail to reach the audience.

they haven't learned to release themselves to vulnerability. for some people, it's very scary to show vulnerability .

you say that all the items must be present to sing in that style, but respectfully i'm not sure i agree. i'm a firm believer in the best vocal moments come when you're least concerned with technique.

i just wanted to get that out to ya buddy....you probably agree too...i just think sometimes we focus a little too much on technique.

Another excellent post, Bob. Don't get me wrong, practicing different techniques is so very important. I am working through a song right now, where I do something different each time, on purpose, to hear the differences. But, in the end, I have to feel the song. And when I am grooving in it, there's no stopping, there's not time. Do I still make mistakes? Of course. But I am getting back the fun of singing, like it used to be.

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You might be misunderstanding me, Bob. I'm saying that you need both technique and heart (to be a great singer). And when you sing live, you're right, thinking about your technique shouldn't be that high on your list but rather you connecting with the audience. But I wasn't talking about that - I was talking when you practise at home. Then you go over some check list and keep reminding yourself to do certain things.

My point was that so many singers have been trying for years to "will" themselves into singing high, powerful notes but never, ever get there because they don't realize that they're doing a few things wrong, over and over again. And no amount of will power will correct that. Well, pure luck could, and that happens, sure. I know that I personally did exactly this for a couple of years - I just tried harder and harder to sing Bon Jovi songs, f.ex. but I JUST COULD NOT DO IT no matter what. It was just too freaking hard. That's when I decided that I needed to stop banging my head against a wall and learn a bit about singing technique. But these days I'm putting equal amount of time into the technical and emotion side of singing. Cheers.

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