Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I *microphone* Dad

I like to sing and have been doing so since I was five years old when my dad bought me the karaoke version of "The Greatest Love of All" by the Whitney Houston on cassette tape. He taught me how to add vibrato to my voice and emotion to the song. I rewound and practiced that song so many times that the tape eventually wore out and we had to get another one.

Since then, I've sung at church, school, concerts, weddings, and every family party I've ever attended, much to my chagrin. You see, I really like to sing and am fairly competent at it, but never really liked to do it often... but boy, did my family make me! I'm Filipino and for those who don't know, 98%* of Filipinos like to sing, whether they are good at it or not. If you know someone that is Filipino, they probably have some sort of karaoke machine/magic microphone at their house and bust it out at every family function.

My family is no different. After everyone is done eating, everyone gathers in the living room for endless rounds of karaoke. I can probably go on and on about this topic (which I will probably in a future post), but I digress...

Somehow, many years ago when I was bored one summer, I decided to record myself singing karaoke and compiled them all in a CD to give my dad for his birthday - complete with a "professional" looking CD jacket and label. The quality of the recordings were just a'ite, but I thought the idea of having a CD with me singing on it was cool... and apparently so did my parents - especially, my dad.

My brother ended up having to burn probably 100 (I'm not even lying) of those CDs for my parents to give out to ALL of their friends and family... I was mortified. I remember walking back to my car from church one day and hearing my CD on full blast in another church member's minivan!

I *hate* listening to myself on playback - whether singing or even just talking. It sounds disgusting to me... but I did it for my parents. They were proud of their little daughter. Anyway, they asked me to record more and that's what I did. I was young and did what my parents told me to do, so throughout those next few years, I recorded 6 different albums using our karaoke machine and some computer program my brother knew how to use.

Once I went off to college, I told my parents I wouldn't record any more songs. I was tired of doing it. I was an adult and they couldn't tell me what to do anymore. I still sang at parties, but never recorded anything again. From time to time, other family members would ask me to record more, but I would politely turn them down, saying I didn't have the free time to do that anymore.

One day last month, my dad called me while at work. He said he was listening to the very first CD I made him and was feeling very nostalgic. I heard his voice crack and I knew he was crying. He missed his little girl.

I realized then how selfish I was being for the past 8 years, and decided to suck it up and record him at least a few tracks for Father's Day... so that's what I did!

I recorded four tracks for him. The first one being a song he's been requesting me to sing for a couple years now, "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Linda Ronstadt. The other three songs were songs I liked and thought would be easy enough for me to learn: "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus (hey - don't hate, it's actually a good song), "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts (I was going to sing this to Matthew on our wedding, but changed my mind the last minute), and "Chasing Pavements" by Adele (her voice is the bomb!).

I didn't have any CD cases lying around at home, so I decided to make my own paper sleeve. I created a template on Photoshop and designed it accordingly. Using a paper cutter, corner rounded, scissors, and paper creaser, it took 3 minutes to print and assemble the sleeve. In case any of you out there want to make your own paper sleeve, I've attached a template in Word below.

My dad was super surprised with the CD and told me he's been playing it non-stop since.

Some of you may be curious to here what the recordings sound like, but I don't think I'll be posting the full versions any time soon... I did them last minute and the mixing is not the best, so I'm not exactly proud enough to add them here...

However, I will add a tiny snippet of "Chasing Pavements" (I know I'm not nearly as good as Adele - her voice is pretty heavenly, but I just really like the song) (Google Readers will need to click through to see the player)

CD Sleeve Template (for Microsoft Word 2007)

P.S. If you want the template in .PSD, please let me know!

*I don't know where I came up with 98%, but in my experience, if you're Filipino, you're either a singer or a dancer.. major points if you're both! Obv, this is an over generalization... but it certainly holds true in my family.


whatnerissaying said...

Your voice is pretty darn heavenly too!

RevieWant said...

I think it's a unique gift

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