‘Alumni wanted to sing one single note each’ said the intriguing email, which invited past graduates of the Institute of Artistic Endeavour to come forward to be recorded for an interactive sound piece. The resulting installation will be part of the forthcoming official opening celebrations for the shiny new building.
It felt as if the invitation could have been written especially for me, and my response was immediate:
‘I am an alumnus’, I began proudly, ‘and have a fantastic singing voice, I’ve been told I sound just like Whitney Houston after she turned to crack. Just let me know when I’m needed, and I’ll pop a pair of fresh batteries in my hearing aids.’
“If that doesn’t get me the gig,” I said to the spouse excitedly as I hit the send button, “I don’t know what will. Wonder what note I’m going to get?”
“The bum note, going by this morning’s performance in the shower”, said the spouse, rolling his eyes. Just as I embarked on a croaky practice scale, an almost instant reply came back from the sound artist. It was good news:
‘You sound perfect!’ it said, ‘We will select a note together that you feel comfortable with. I won’t be supplying crack.’
Both of us soon came to regret our email frivolity. When I turned up for my recording session on Wednesday, the fact that I wasn’t kidding about the hearing aids, as well as my repeated inability to match my note, became rather apparent. I await my public vocal début on April the 9th, with some trepidation.