Rules of Engagement

Written by Piers Cawley on

If you’re interested in the repertoire project, here’s my current rules of engagement for recording for it:

  • One Song
  • One Mic
  • One Take (by which I mean no comping or overdubs, not “only one attempt”)

So far, everything has been recorded using FiRe, a dead simple field recording app on the iPhone/iPad and uploaded pretty much directly from the phone to SoundCloud, though I am thinking of switching to using my BandCamp account because, although the player may not be as pretty, the site is free. SoundCloud keeps nagging me to switch to a paid account if I want to do things like make everything downloadable or see more advanced player statistics. Very annoying.

What else? Oh yes, I’m doing this for fun. If I have to fill in a tax return, PRS, MCPS or other annoying form then it stopped being fun. All the recordings will remain free to download and are released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA. The songs and tunes themselves will be traditional or, where an author is known, in the public domain.

You’re free to sing them or do anything else you like with them without any reference to me or the sources I credit (but it is considered sporting to credit) and I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. Listening to music is a mere shadow of the pleasures of making it and the great thing about singing is that we’re born with all the equipment we need to do it.

Find a song you like, either from my repertoire project, Jon Boden’s A Folk Song A Day project or a favourite recording and start to sing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sung before. It doesn’t matter that a music ‘teacher’ may have told you not to sing. It doesn’t matter that you never, ever, want to sing where anyone can hear you.

Just sing. Loudly. You may hate the sound of your voice, your pitching may be all over the place, you may lack confidence. So what? We fix these things through mindful practice, not by deciding that we’re no good. Just sing.