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#442947 - 12/06/17 01:56 AM [User Showcase] Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa


There is a back story behind this one that some of you may have been following. DeaconBlues posted a topic in the off-topic forum. Here is a link to the original topic. http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=437354#Post437354

In this post DeaconBlues explained how he had seen a post on Reddit by someone called Meg who had a recording of her gran singing a song that the gran and her sister wrote for the soldiers in WW2. Meg’s gran unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Meg wanted to somehow create a song using the clip and asked for help on Reddit. Deacon saw the post and asked the PG Music community for help.

Here is a link to the original clip on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HToQLp9rwVk

Charlie Fogle offered to clean up the clip which he then sent to me. I imported the clip into Melodyne and did a little tuning and tried to quantize it. I then created a MIDI file of the vocal and printed out the sheet music. I then harmonized the melody with some chords and typed them into BIAB. I then found a suitable style and imported the audio clip into BIAB to make sure everything lined up.

I then tried to generate some harmonies and to record myself singing along with nana. This was wholly unsuccessful as the key did not suit my voice and I could not easily replicate nana’s timing. I then decided to modulate to a key that suited my voice better and sung two rounds of the lyrics in my key. I found one phrase of nana’s that could fit in the new key so I added that in to the second round.

I then contacted Meg and asked for some photos of nana that she kindly sent me. I downloaded some other video footage for the Department of Defence website and put together the video.

Meg is delighted and is going to share it with her family when they celebrate a late Christmas get together in January.

Thanks to Deacon, Meg and Charlie for helping to bring this one together. Comments are as always appreciated.

Realtracks are:
RealTracks in style: ~2478:Bass, Acoustic, Held Ev 110
RealTracks in style: 1422:Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm PopCalypso Ev 100
RealTracks in song: 2534:Guitar, 12-String Acoustic, HeldChords
RealTracks in song: ~1119:Guitar, 12-String Acoustic, Strumming Ev 120
RealDrums in style: TambourineEven8ths: a: Tambourine b: TambourineEven8ths
RT1033:Guitar, 12-String Electric, Strumming Ev 120
Loop:HipHop\Old School - grill_73_boom_kick_c.wav

Lyrics:
we gotta destination
the land of tokyo
we gotta destination
so come on boys lets go
we gotta journey before us
every man and every gun
we wont return from that journey
until our job is done

off we go
we're going to tokyo
to face the rising sun
off we go
we're going to tokyo
so grab your gun my son

we dont care
how much they threat or scare
for that is why we're going there
so grab your gun
my son my son
and I'll meet you over there





Edited by JoanneCooper (12/06/17 01:59 AM)

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#442955 - 12/06/17 03:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: Scottish Highlands
furry Offline
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Can't think of anything else to say but WOW
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Whenever I have a problem, I just sing, Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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#442963 - 12/06/17 04:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 341
Loc: Merkaz, Israel
DeaconBlues09 Online   content
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Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 341
Loc: Merkaz, Israel
Someone must be cutting onions in here, because I'm tearing up watching this.

**Editing to add: I was so excited to put down my thoughts and what I (correctly) guessed the process to be, I had not actually read at that point Joanne's notes that basically already mentioned the same things!. Oh well, I took all the time to type it out so I'm gonna keep it posted anyway. blush **

Joanne, I cannot begin to express the admiration and respect I am feeling towards you right now. However, as this is the user showcase forum, for the moment I will focus on the sheer brilliance and creative ingenuity that went into the production of this track.

For you folks that need a little context, I refer you to the link Joanne included in her post. The short version is that Meg had a little snippet of a recording of a song her Nana wrote with her sister for the soldiers in WWII. Nana had just passed away after succumbing to dementia, and the idea was to convert this snippet of a recording into a full-on song, with fragments of her Nana's singing incorporated into that song.

Now here's the thing. Said snippet was obtained by Meg years back, it was likely recorded on a cellphone, and there was no adherence to tempo or key. Indeed, at the beginning of the recording you can hear someone prompting Nana to sing. Nana is asking "What, now," and you then hear "Yes, now." That's it. And then you hear an elderly lady singing a song from her past. It's poignant and almost eerie, but technically polished it isn't.

Enter Charlie Fogle and Joanne Cooper. They cleaned up the audio, stretched it out, did all sorts of technical magicry using BIAB and other software, and got the snippet tamed and compatible with a melodic structure.

But this is only the beginning. Let's turn our attention to the track itself.

Given Nana's advanced age when this was recorded, the pitch of her voice was orders of magnitude lower than Ms. Cooper's mellifluous pipes (we're talking Leonard Cohen low). So how was Joanne to have them both sing on the same track given the monumental disparity in their respective vocal ranges?

Allow me to direct your attention to 0:56 in the track. Up until now, Nana's had the floor. (Incidentally, the way Joanne incorporated the beginning of the recording--where Nana is being prompted to sing, is stunningly poignant in its own right, but I digress).

Back to 0:56. Nana has sung, and now it's time for Joanne to give this tribute an angel's wings. A trio of chords smoothly modulates the arrangement into a different key where Joanne take it away. That, good folks, is sheer genius!

But it doesn't end there.

You see, Joanne is not content to simply confine Nana to the head of the song and leave at that. Joanne wants to trade phrases with Nana call-and-response style. What's that, you say? Nana's no longer with us? Hah! Joanne sneers at Death.

Between approx 1:55 and 2:10 Joanne creates a bridge in the song, (you could also say a "bridge" between the living and the dead if you want to get all poetic about it!), where Joanne sings the high part (the "call") and Nana's super-low voice is heard to sing the low part (the "response.") perfectly in key. I would not be at all surprised if Joanne's choice of that particular key she modulated the song into at 0:56 was chosen precisely for that bridge.

There is so much more I could say, and have yet to say, about this but I have other matters to attend to (work mainly sick ). Thanks a million for everything Joanne and Charlie!


Edited by DeaconBlues09 (12/06/17 04:41 AM)
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#442965 - 12/06/17 04:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: furry]
Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 8031
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Don Gaynor Offline
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More great examples of your talents and love for others, Josie!

Donny

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#442996 - 12/06/17 07:46 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6340
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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You did a great job on that, Joanne. Kudos to Charlie, too.

I'm sure the family must be thrilled.
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#443007 - 12/06/17 08:10 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 3618
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 3618
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
What a cool project. Just loved this. Beautiful way to honor family and their past. Just incredible work.
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#443053 - 12/06/17 11:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: furry]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 4304
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 4304
Loc: Davis, CA
Originally Posted By: furry
Can't think of anything else to say but WOW


Yes WOW!! Quite a back story here, and a major collaborative project!! Nice vocal Joanne!! Enjoyed it! Take care. Greg

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#443062 - 12/06/17 11:52 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: Greg Johnson]
Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 712
Loc: Germany
sinbad Offline
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That turned out really well, a brilliant result Joanne!
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#443080 - 12/06/17 01:39 PM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Rob4580 Online   content
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Registered: 01/28/12
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You've become a forensic scientist of music Joanne.
Thank you for a sneak peek into the past.
Rob.

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#443196 - 12/07/17 01:34 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 1649
Loc: New Zealand
RichMac Offline
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Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 1649
Loc: New Zealand
Hi Joanne.

That was a tasty treat.
Your wonderful projects never cease to amaze me.

Cheers.
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#443208 - 12/07/17 04:11 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 3382
Loc: Alabama, USA
Al-David Offline
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Registered: 12/29/12
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Hi Joanne,

Everyone involved in this should take a bow ... or two. This is simply wonderful. Standing "O"! Not sure what else to say. What a treat! god Bless and merry Christmas,

Alan
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#443262 - 12/07/17 06:46 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: Rob4580]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 6316
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Janice & Bud Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rob4580
You've become a forensic scientist of music Joanne.
Thank you for a sneak peek into the past.
Rob.


Love that description!

What a wonderful story and project.

It takes a special person to take on a task like this.

Thanks for caring.

J&B
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#443357 - 12/07/17 11:09 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 1759
Robertkc Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 1759
Joanne & Charlie,
This would be powerful even without the backstory.
The techniques you used to create this are almost as impressive as your selflessness in taking it on!
An amazing project that will no doubt be treasured by Nana`s family.

Robert

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#443388 - 12/07/17 12:37 PM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 1574
Loc: Cremona-Italy
Sergio Guarneri Offline
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Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 1574
Loc: Cremona-Italy

Excellent song, with a great feeling in it.
Another great performance.

Sergio
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#443546 - 12/08/17 08:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa
Graham - Thank you so much.

DeaconBlues - Thank YOU for putting this whole thing together. Your getting it going in the first place was very generous.

Don - Your ongoing support is always appreciated.

Floyd - yes, I hope they will like what we have done, thanks.

Scott - Thank you. I think it is honoruable what Meg wanted to do with this clip.

Greg - The back story is nice. Thank you.

Sinbad - Thanks for listening and commenting.

Rob - Forensic scientist! Thank you. I am trying hard to brush up on my music theory (including sight reading as well as playing by ear) so it is starting to bear fruit that I could figure out how to harmonize this tune.

Rich - Thanks. It keeps me out of trouble!

Al - no other words necessary. Thank you!

Janice and Bud - I appreciate it. Thank you.

Robert - I am sure it will be treasured. Thanks

Sergio - Thanks for listening and for taking the time to comment.

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#443575 - 12/08/17 09:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 4406
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
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Loc: North Carolina

Wow, cool. I really enjoyed this. Happy Holidays Joanne.
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#443889 - 12/09/17 06:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: Nanas song - With original audio clip of nana singing a song she wrote for WW2 soldiers [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4634
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
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Loc: South Carolina
Joanne, this is absolutely marvelous. I'm sure it has exceeded the wildest dreams that Nana's family could have hoped for with the original recording they had. Now her song can last forever. I'm amazed that you were able to do so well with the audio I sent to you. It sits well in the mix and sounds very clear.

The outcome of the video and audio both are at a very professional level.

Nana's photos in the video really bring the emotions of the time home.

Charlie


Edited by Charlie Fogle (12/09/17 06:47 PM)
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