A Learning Journey

David Allerton talks about his Pinkie learning journey culminating in an amazing virtual performance.

David Allerton

Joining the Pink Singers during lockdown is very different from joining us in “normal” times. And creating our first virtual performance of Fix You was a challenge for all of us and we’re very proud of the results. Newbie David tells us about some of the technical challenges and how he overcame them. 

I joined the Pink Singers in February of this year and had five consecutive and immensely enjoyable Sunday afternoons of rehearsals and drinks afterwards in the pub. All the while the viral menace was looming ever larger, eventually forcing us all, and the Pinkies too, into lockdown.

Here the learning really began. I am a teacher, and I had to learn how to deliver lessons purely on-line. And then to work out Zoom in order to continue to rehearse with the Pinkies. But the steepest curve came when we were instructed to record ourselves singing Coldplay’s Fix You. 

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For existing members this was a familiar piece, but unfamiliar to almost all of us is how our voices sound when recorded singing alone. It takes you by surprise, when there is nowhere to hide, no other voices to blend with. It was a rude awakening and I almost threw in the towel after the first take, but the great thing about lockdown is you have acres of time to fill, and I forced myself to persevere. I recorded a take, then listened carefully, winced, made notes, and set out to improve. Certain things – notes, words, breathing, just required practice. Other things – a lack of control when beginning a new phrase, or sounding reedy in certain parts of my range, or just the mental stamina required to stay at performance standard for the whole take – well, over two evenings I worked harder than I ever have before on my singing. 

David’s improvised video recording setup!

I am so proud of the improvements I made, and will remember those intense, solitary hours as something almost beautiful. The take I submitted was far from perfect – I desperately wanted to splice my best three takes together, but time was up. I like to think I can hear my own voice in the mix, here and there. Perhaps with each imperfection. 

It has been a great experience being able to contribute and harness ubiquitous technologies like mobiles and laptops, to transform your living room into a home studio.

David Allerton, Bass

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