Vocal music that you might actually enjoy on ice
Since music with lyrics will now be allowed for the other disciplines along with ice dance, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for vocal music that might translate well onto the ice? I know many are apprehensive as to what this rule change might actually be bring but as there are a range of good and bad instrumental music, I am inclined to think that not all vocal music must necessarily make for terrible competitive programs. I admit though that I know little about music theory and the technical aspects of skating (my ~extremely nuanced~ way of watching competitions usually consists of very instinctive judgments of “yes, good!” or “ack no!” :P) so I thought I’d pose it to the forum and see if anyone else has inspiration or fantasies?
In my own musings, I wonder if something with relatively simple melodies/rhythms and lyrics like pop music (but preferably not something too insipid or tasteless) might not give more initial artistic direction to someone who has weaker musical interpretation skills (is it too obvious that I'm not a big fan of Gracie Gold's SP? ). Of course, then again, many of the existing warhorses come with their own associated stories and emotions which different skaters have tried to portray with varying degrees of success and failure. To be honest though, for something like Adelina’s FS last season, I think I might have just preferred having Christina singing all the way through rather than just the jarring start-stop of vocal runs without any context
(ETA: if you are a staunch conservationist in that you'd rather pretend this new allowance doesn't exist, you are free to state that as well. )
Wicked Yankee Girl
As long as we don't get spoken (rather than sung) songs, I'm just interested to see what the skaters pick to skate to (I pray not too much Justin Bieber, that's all).
Baby, baby, baby, nooooooo.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
I like non-English vocals ... Vocals that are chanting and integrated into the instrumental. Lisa Gerard comes to mind and some Cirque songs (Le Reveur or, as Sandhu had at the very start of his 2004 Free program with Ninkou Latora).
Show tunes and musicals would probably translate well. I also agree if it's in a language I don't understand but probably not opera because it's music that supposed to be able to stand on it's own. That is it could be overpowering unless it's used only in segments. I'm quite wary of pop songs as well. I still think vocal music is distracting for technical programs and would prefer to keep it the way it is. I think it can help mask lack of artistry which may be good for some skaters although it might make them not feel the need for development.
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Eeeekkkkkk!!!!!!! I hadn't heard about that rule change!!!
Originally Posted by w_darling
I'll be honest, I'm not too sure about this one. There are many times (mainly during exhibitions) when I think "Yes, the inclusion of the vocals really adds to that programme!" But, there are other times (mainly during Dance routines) when I think "No!!! That would be a lot better as an instrumental!"
As for your question, "Big World" by Paul Casey would be my answer.
Unfortunately, there are only live performances on YouTube, so here is the studio version on his MySpace profile:
I suggested that this music would be great for skating one time before in the (now archived) "Which music would you love to see skated to (& by who)?" thread (Boys, that was a great idea for a thread!) But I added that I thought that the instrumental version lost a lot of the "epicness", and that it would be better for an exhibition programme.
But, now that we don't have to use instrumentals, I really want to see somebody using it in competition!!!
Finally, glad to hear that I am not the only member of this forum that uses instinctive judgments like “yes, good!” and “ack no!”
Gotta Have Music
I would actually suggest some of the Edith Piaf's songs (and I agree about musicals), for example watch this performance from the rythmic gymastics worlds this month, Yana Kudryavtseva won the ribbon final using "Padam, padam" and hearing the lyrics was absolutely beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhMjPNjnCdU
The more I think of it, the worse I like it. I don't doubt that there will be some great choices, but... People's ex/gala choices generally bore me, to be frank. I think that some things are far more supportable to me without the actual singing.
And people are bound to go with a lot that is currently popular. Just think of all the great performances to Dancing Queen we missed (it seems to have been one of ABBA's most popular - and is one of my least favourite) - or the Olympic winning performance to Like A Virgin - Oo! for the... yeah, you get the idea.
And then think - is that what you want - what you really, really want?
Of course I agree about Broadway musicals! What a rich trove, and there's a lot of stuff people never use that would make splendid programs. I always thought that some of the music from Sunset Boulevard would make a beautiful skating program. The valet sings a song, "The Greatest Star of All," with amazing lyrics about what Norma's fame was like at the peak of her silent movie career. "Men would offer fortunes for a bloom from her corsage, or a few strands of her hair...Then, you can't imagine, the way fans sacrificed themselves to touch her shadow...." It's the most haunting song, and it brings a vanished world to life. I always imagined Sasha Cohen skating to it.
Here are the complete lyrics:
Wicked is a great musical, with a lot of memorable songs, including that anthem to friendship, "For Good." There's the peppy "One Short Day in the Emerald City," which could add a fast section to the mix, and "Defying Gravity" for an emotional crescendo. The lyrics are interesting, with a lot of wonderful word choices and satisfying rhymes.
As for opera, there are wonderful arias such as the Flower Song from Leo Delibes' opera Lakme. I recently found a wonderful song by Sibelius about the mythical hero Lemminkainen, which is a magnificently jubilant men's cantata. I have no idea whether the words are suggestive or profane or what, but the sound is as heroic as all get-out, and being a choir, it doesn't sound too conventionally operatic for people not used to that art form.
There's a lot of splendid Russian opera music, both for solos and choruses: This is a splendid song from the folkloric opera May Night by Rimsky-Korsakov, sung by Sergei Lemeshev. It's in 3/4 time, which is a wonderful rhythm to skate to (waltz rhythm), but it changes coloration and mood throughout and gives plenty of chance for jumps, I think.
And there's always folk music, both traditional and modern. British (especially English and Irish), Russian, and Spanish music are especially rich in rhythm and emotion.
The Letter Duet from the Marriage of Figaro.
(Or basically anything from the Marriage of Figaro. ) This would be for the new discipline, two-lady pairs. Katarina Witt (Countess) and Kristi Yamaguchi (Suzanna) would debut it, just to make sure it all works out.
Last edited by Mathman; 09-20-2013 at 12:13 PM.
For competitive freestyle programs, I can tell you what I don't want:
*Songs in which the words are more interesting than the melody, harmony, and/or rhythm
*Songs in which the singer will draw more attention than the skater
*Lyrics that call for literal acting out or miming of the words. E.g., if the lyrics say "Put your hands up" or "Jump," it would be too obvious for the skater to do just that, and if they don't, it'll make me stop and wonder "Well, why didn't you?"
*Cuts that make nonsense of what was written to be coherent sentences, or that frustrate a lyricist's careful setup of a rhyme.
*Songs whose subject matter is blatantly inappropriate to the skater and/or the choreography -- risky if the skater doesn't understand the language but some audience members will
Some of these things would be fine for exhibition performances, and maybe for ice dance or synchro.
And then, appropriateness of the musical content to the skater's performance ability is just as relevant with words as without -- e.g., don't choose a piece with an obvious dance beat unless you are prepared to dance to it, or at least make some acknowledgment of the musical style.
Within those guidelines, I hope that skaters and choreographers will choose wisely.
Yes, some of the operatic and musical comedy music that has already proven successful in instrumental arrangements can work just as well with the original singing, if the voice is pleasant to listen to at high volume over arena sound systems.
As I think I've mentioned, the most successful freestyle programs to vocal music that I've seen at lower levels that have allowed it in the past few years have been to classic rock.
I've long thought that a gradual build of skating content through the instrumental opening of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" leading up to an explosive triple axel (or other big jump element) at the point where the vocals come in would be effective.
More recent popular songs with some musical depth would also be welcome.
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Much as I like Abba, I don't think there could be a more cringe-worthy song for a skating programme than "Dancing Queen"!!!
Originally Posted by LRK
And given the ages of a lot of the skaters, I don't think "Like A Virgin" would be appropriate somehow...!
Nice Spice Girls reference. But, "Wannabe" is one song I NEVER want to hear on an ice rink! "Viva Forever", "2 Become 1", "Mama" or "Too Much" though, wouldn't be too bad...
Originally Posted by LRK
As for non-English music, may I suggest some songs by the German band LaFee? "Wer bin ich" is my favourite LaFee song, and it would really suit skating. Other songs I could suggest are "Prinzesschen" (but it would have to be a Ladies Singles skater using it because of the lyrics!) or "Was ist das"
Mmmm. Didn't realise LaFee and the Spice Girls were on the same record label until I started adding links to videos...
Or, for something from a different German band, how about either "Irgendwas bleibt " or "Krieger des Lichts" by Silbermond.
Ooh, this is fun!!! But, I'll leave it there for now while I think of other foreign music I like that would be suitable!!!
First things I thougt about were Neapolitan songs (actually, many do skate to instrumental versions now), Russian romances and... Amy Winehouse's jazz-blues stuff.
I remember that in some interview Mishin mentioned an idea of skating to Vadim Kozin's Through the Haze My Fire's Burning, when asked about new rules regarding music.
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