I really enjoyed the videos, It all looked like a "Good Fun Family Day Out " rather than a serious music recital and for an anonymous member to judge it as such is just a little disingenuous .
Also the fact that the recording we heard was after all only picked up by a video camera microphone which may not have done you justice....as they are not designed with high quality audio recording in mind.
I'm sure singing at temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius and having a bunch of children running around in front of you may also have been at least slightly distracting. Not to mention the failing microphones as well. So good on you anyway. Thanks for the performances..
I completely fail to function at temperatures above about 36 degrees. How you remained standing, let alone sang as well is beyond me
I've just spent a very enjoyable couple of hours downloading the remaining videos and watching them and I wholeheartedly agree with Comet's comments.
I also felt that you were somewhat let down by the keyboard player; whilst I didn't notice the problem you had with "Via Delorosa" (apart from the worried look on your face at the beginning) the delay at the beginning of "Songbird" was enough to put anyone off. Didn't he also cut the long note at the end of "Time To Say Goodbye"? It seemed to finish rather abruptly.
Also, if you were nervous, your performance didn't come over as such and keeping your cool in such circumstances is a great credit to you.
I think my favorite of your solo's was "Oh Holy City" particularly because, for me, it really showcased your beautiful voice.
Musicfan, I can understand your view, given the videos you have heard. I would just like to explain that in Via Dolorosa, the keyboardist accidentally played the whole song down a semitone, (as he had left on a transposing button which had been used for a previous song), and this threw me out when it came to the chorus.
I'm sure you will understand that a singer relies a lot on muscle memory, and when it came to the chorus, I hadn't learnt the interval jump, but instead the note itself. Hence I sang the wrong note and it sounds awful I know!!!
Also, I do hear where I occasionally went a little sharp, and I certainly did cringe a little, but this happens to a lot of singers when they are nervous. At this concert I was aware that I was being directly compared to Hayley which, I have to say, did add some pressure!
I'm not trying to make excuses for myself, and I respect your opinion based on the videos, but just wanted to explain a couple of things.
Warmest regards Sophie Westenra
Oh Sophie, welcome to the forum. It is great hearing from you directly and well done, lady for deciding to put over your point. I have always regretted I could not wait outside the Palladium long enough yonks ago so I had a chance to meet with you and Isaac as well as Hayley, as I have been privileged to do several times since.
In fact at St James' church I made a point of shaking hands with your father during the interval as I never believed I would manage to get close enough to Hayley.
Back to the moment, I witheld a comment I was prompted to make at the time simply because you are in the earlier stages of the public world. That was to point out that maintaining consistency of output is something that most singers have to acquire and can only acquire through the experience of extensive practice and performance. What ever one means by 'perfect pitch' does depend upon whom one is speaking with but we do know Hayley appears to have an in built sense of this and therefore a massive advantage.
You start out from a singular disadvantage that no other singer has to cope with, being the younger sister of Hayley. That takes one heck of a lot of guts, stamina and nerve but these attributes are of no use what ever if they are not based upon a sound grasp of basic technique and inherent ability. You've got what it takes, lady and maybe, it's early days yet but if I manage that concert in Christchurch I sincerely hope I will be able to meet both you and your brother (whether performing or not) as well as re-acquaint myself with the rest of the family.
That is the key Hayley concert around which I am outline planning my intentions.
In the mean time. well done for choosing to put over your point and welcome you for being you, not just Hayley's sister. As you clearly have a sound technical grasp, perhaps you will post some more in due time, as it pleases you to do so.
Much love, blown kisses and good wishes.
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2009 14:36:15 GMT by postscript
Her eyes were the blue of cornflowers that dance amongst ripening wheat, Her hair the colour of golden sands bleached by summer's heat.
Welcome to the forum, and thank you for joining us. You may remember meeting me at Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, where the photograph in my avatar was taken.
Watching the videos, I was very impressed with your performance at Ashburton. I also remember your wonderful duets with Hayley at the London Palladium back in 2004, so I hope it won't be too long before I see you again. Meanwhile I wish you every success with your singing career.
The mistake in 'Via Dolarosa' was small and one any singer could make given the situation. Sophie has a lovely voice, both her and Hayley have unique qualities to their voices and different strengths and weakness - they are after all two different artists!
Nice job! Having sung with my own sister for several years, I've been in that same awkard position when people compare us! Some people prefer my sisters voice to mine or vise versa and sometimes without meaning to they can be quite hurtful - but you just got to keep doing what you love no matter what. Keep up the good work!
Post by BarefootSoprano on Feb 11, 2009 18:38:21 GMT
I just watched the videos Nice work Sophie, keep it up. I had never heard "I know you by heart" until now, its very pretty. It is always fun to have another musician here on the forum, so I hope you'll come back to visit.
Hi Ross and welcome Sophie, I could wait no longer and played all the videos late last night. Thanks Ross. Sophie I hope you were not upset by the post that prompted your reply. They seemed to be expecting you to be as good as Hayley is now, with you a relative novice at concerts. You also had to deal with faulty equipment, dodgy intro's, and all this was recorded on a non professional camera/mike system !! Hardly a fair comparison ! I hope you are not put off continuing and a 'hard skin' would be an advantage. For all the people that are favourable, they will always be a few who are not . I would also be attempting to get a front row seat if you decide to venture to the U . K !
Thanks for allowing Ross to post the video's I certainly enjoyed them and have them safely stored !
Welcome to HWI. I well remember hearing you sing at Northampton on the Pure tour with Hayley, and you made a lovely contribution to one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever attended, so thank you for that. Having just been blown away by hearing Hayley for the first time, I learned that hers wasn't the only beautiful voice in your family.
I now have some downloading to do! I haven't watched these videos yet, but I know I shall enjoy them.
I thought you sounded great and it was a real treat to see you perform again, thank you for taking the time to add your comments above, I too, like Grant missed the 2004 tour, and was not lucky enough to meet you when my brother Stuart did during Hayley's tour last year in NZ, but I hope some day to see you both perform together again this time in person.
" A gold coin donation was asked for by organisers, with proceeds going to the Salvation Army Foodbank. February 9 2009 "
Just out of curiosity : ,
Does New Zealand still have a Gold Based coin in general circulation or does this refer to $1, 2 or 5 ?
Comet our $1 and $2 are "gold" coins which replaced the paper notes. They aren't really gold. Yes it was very hot at the concert. I needed plenty of water to stop dehydrating and I know the artists were very hot on stage. I thought Sophie did an excellent job considering the faulty equipment and the computer taking a while to load the music. (maybe it was too hot lol). I also know the artists appreciated working with Sophie as it stretched them musically as well, the keyboard player would be the first to admit to a few mistakes but the audience loved the concert anyway. The biggest cheer was always for Sophie. I was worried about the sound quality of my videos as I was close to the big speakers at the front of the stage and had set the audio to low so I didn't get too much bass interfering with the singing like in some of my earlier videos of Hayley and Dave Dobbyn. But it seemed to work with only a couple of times when I got to much bass.
Thanks Sophie for the concert, You certainly have a fan in me and I hope to go to your next concert in March.