For our commission lesson we began to work on the song that the workers sing in the magic paintbrush. Lynn had already come up with a tune and then as a group we developed the lyrics to be ‘Working in the fields as the day goes round, gathering the rice that grows from the ground’. Eren and I lead the song by starting off whilst the rest of the group join in making it a round. We also looked back at the Stanislavski questions that Uta Hagen wrote about regarding character. Even though I don’t have a main character in this piece, its still important to look in depth about them so you can portray a realistic character. I decided my character was a young Chinese girl who was the daughter of the owners of the rice field. This contrasts the ages in our piece and also adds some youthful energy. It also makes sense as to why she leads the singing and is always the one who wants ma Liung to draw again. After this we added more content to our piece by starting the spies and emperor scenes. Although Eren and Ines did well at creating two almost pantomime opposite spy characters with one a more sneaky and intellectual character and a more stupid character, I still believe they could be louder and bigger with the characters, especially as we have to perform outside to passers by, we want them to be able to hear and see fully the story plot line. We also asked ourselves at the end of the session weather children and an objective audience would be able to understand the paintbrush and that the object is what causes the magic. We did however come to the conclusion that our piece did indeed make this clear and the fact the paintbrush itself would be sparkly would help any other confusion. A note from the commission lesson was that still our reaction noises even if they aren’t actual words and just noises need to be more frequent to keep the energy and atmosphere of the piece going. We also began to think about health and safety for our commission and how we need to make sure both the audience and ourselves are looked after and safe. This goes from warm clothing if the weather is cold, looking after our voices, having shoes with a good grip, trip hazards such as our props and not blocking the pavement as we are in a public space.
For our vocal lesson we talked about how not many people have concert pitch and the ability to find a note without hearing it before hand and be able to tell you the note they are singing. We also talked about some things that I already had some knowledge of having played piano for a long time when I was younger. In this was the different sounds of flats and sharps and how a sharp is a half note above and a flat is a half note bellow. We also looked at major and minor chords and how they can create either a happy or sad atmosphere through the noise they create. Another thing we looked at today was octaves and how with our voices we can sing the same note but higher or lower. Finally we looked at where our voices reside. We saw that an open throat voice sounds like a yawn and can even help to create a yawn if required. On top of this we found the juxtaposition of a nasal voice often comes out more persistently. We can use these for over the top characters such as the spies in our commission piece as they have such a comedic element whilst also being the bad characters.