There’s an old saying in some theatrical circles that a play does not exist unless and until is has been performed on a live stage in front of an audience. You can imagine the heartache that creates for the amateur, but vigilant, Playwright who writes page after page only to have the work discounted in the end analysis by some because there is no final proof of production to validate the effort. Is that a right and fair way to deal with a written Art in Performance? Does the actor exist without being staged? Does the director have a role without filling an empty space?
Yesterday afternoon, I was hanging out in Union Square Park in New York City and I captured this cool, 21-second bite of musical blowing and beating you can enjoy after the jump!
J’attendrai is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you want to play it on the guitar and sing it in performance. The melody is perfect. I have yet to see a performance of the song that didn’t glide with a gracious humanity.
Translated from French as — “I Will Wait” — J’attendrai was first made popular in 1938 by Rina Ketty and was written by Dino Olivier and Nino Rastelli. J’attendrai is the hallmark song for the start of World War II as people all over the world prepared for an uncertain and dramatic future:
I will wait night and day,
I will wait forever,
For you to come back, I will wait, [I will wait]
For the bird flying away
Comes to seek oblivion in its nest.
Time flies and runs,
Beating sadly in my oh so heavy heart
And yet I will wait for you to come back
The most resonant, historic, performance of J’attendrai belongs to magnificent Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and expert violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
We have a national crisis with self-indulgent performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the USA. Our national anthem is being mangled by bad taste and poor singers when presented at the beginning of public sporting events.
What used to be a revered practice with hats off and hands held over hearts has now become a gross performance opportunity for a sub-par singer to take our anthem and mangle the melody in order to “show off” just what a wide-range they do not have.
The problem none of these horrible performers realize is that they cannot sing in tune, they fumble out of key, and they are ruining a closely beloved song that should never really be sung live in public because it is too easy to ruin the song with an awful, cat-strangling, performance.
The effort should not be in the song attempt, but rather in the respect we provide the song by allowing it to be heard plainly and properly as intended.
I have posted before about one of my reasons for loving Portugal — access to music of all kinds and genres, classical, traditional fado, international superstars, innovative festivals, bands large and small, old and new, intimate venues, outdoor venues — the range is incredible from Rock in Rio every two years in Lisbon to the classy Music of the World every summer in Sines.
In the summer months, the large beer and mobile phone companies ply for our trade, and the kudos of hosting international pop and rock acts over the long weekends in June, July and August.
It was over 90 degrees in the shade yesterday, but that didn’t stop Janna and me from walking up to Riverview Park in Jersey City to spend a day listening to some great live music during the very first Jersey City Heights Jazz Festival.
The show started off a bit slow with a confused, and noisy, performance that had big problems with the microphones and speakers — everything was painfully distorted and muddled and just plain too loud — and so we decided to take a little walk around the neighborhood and try again in an hour.
I wonder if Justin Bieber’s marketing and production team ever read the news beyond the current chatter about their teenage star. I would love to know what they made of this morning’s juxtaposition of articles on the BBC about young Mr Bieber keeping his very young audience waiting for nearly two hours at London’s O2 Arena last night and a rather interesting piece about Insight Marketing which explore some of the techniques used by some advertisers and companies to deliver added value about their products and services.