Yesterday I had the privilege to record “Different” from Honk! The recording was part of a project with Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange. For the musical theatre project, they had set the challenge to find “your song”. “Different” is certainly that for me, and I’m thrilled that they picked it as the one to record! What an amazing experience!
In preparation, I had a coaching with Leslie Stifelman (music director for Chicago, among many other things!) and Jeff Saver (music director for End of the Rainbow.) It was eye opening to realize how the song had morphed over time, and the fact that the rhythm and melody on the page wasn’t exactly what I was singing… (I’ve been singing a lot of jazz, etc., and that flexibility was creeping into this medium, too!) They helped me get back to the music as written by the incredible songwriting duo of Anthony Drewe and George Stiles. Once that was accomplished, then the storytelling could begin.
Jeff arranged the chart and played piano for the recording. The other musicians were Ed Salkin on clarinet and flute, and Jay Berliner on guitar. I was in heaven listening to them rehearse and lay down the track. Unbelievable! Leslie was producing, along with amazing Scott Lehrer and watching them work was awesome! Roger Rees also joined us in the studio and had such great advice.
Finally, it was my turn to sing. Everyone was so encouraging and supportive. We did 3 or 4 takes, and before I knew it, they had all they needed. Leslie, Jeff, and Roger all had such positive things to say and a lot of sage advice. What incredible people and wonderful artists!
Then it was time for Scott and Leslie to do their magic. It was a whole other lesson to hear my singing stripped down and every minute detail analyzed. Wow! I can’t wait to hear the final result. I guess it’s going to be on a CD with songs from around the world and from different genres. What an honor to be included! I loved every second, and wished that I could do it every day!
Thank you Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange for an amazing experience!