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Page 40 May / June 2010 THE UNEXPECTED SONG Adding a surprise to your ceremony I have never felt like this, for once I’m lost for words, your smile has really thrown me. This is not like me at all, I never thought I’d know the kind of love you’ve shown me. Now, no matter where I am, no matter what I do, I see your face appearing like an unexpected song, an unexpected song that only we are hearing. (Andrew Lloyd Webber/Don Black Song & Dance). So many beautiful songs are overlooked when planning a wedding ceremony program. I truly appreciate and love performing traditional wedding music (Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, etc.), though when asked to suggest something beyond the traditional to a couple planning their ceremony program, the possibilities are endless! And if music touches you the way it does me, then you may want to be adventurous and choose a totally unexpected song. Regardless of the lyric content or song context, if the music moves you, then it is an appropriate choice as an instrumental selection for your ceremony program. One of my favorite songs for a bridal processional is Time To Say Goodbye (sung by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman). The music is passionate and regal, and to me, the title can signify a goodbye in the sense of a young bride saying goodbye to her parents as she begins a new life. A more eclectic, yet exquisite piece of music is the score from Cinema Paradiso by Ennio Morricone. The title song Cinema Paradiso and the Love Theme are deeply moving and can be performed together in sequence for the bridal party and then the bride. The Cavatina by Stanley Myers is deeply moving composition and again, if the music touches you, then knowing that this song is from The Deerhunter movie soundtrack will not matter. The sweetness of the Cavatina melody gentle offers an unexpected pulse (a classical three-quarter waltz time) and lightness to a ceremony. Reaching further back in time, the legendary American folk song Shenandoah offers a nostalgic and uplifting yet, sentimental mood. Shenandoah has been recorded by such diverse artists as Van Morrison (with The Chieftains), jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Chanticleer. Each interpretation of Shenandoah is unique and offers many possibilities for your ceremony program. Using an unexpected song in your ceremony program is also fun for everyone! Your guests, while they are first and foremost, are watching you; they are also listening to your ceremony soundtrack. For example, choosing the Linus and Lucy theme for a wedding recessional always generates an audience full of smiles. Or, the theme from the movie Titanic, My Heart Will Go On, performed as a processional is extremely touching and is apt to elicit tears from your guests. Even, All I Ask Of You (Phantom) is a lovely choice for a ceremony. Recently a musically savvy bride and groom with very eclectic tastes requested music from the ambient Icelandic band, Sigur Ros—another source of captivating and fascinating music. Live music plays such an essential role in a wedding ceremony. And the song choices are equally as significant. Orchestrating your music takes careful consideration and your wedding music professional is the best person to seek advice from. Your wedding music professionals have many years of experience and will be able to guide you as to which songs work best with their instruments. When planning your ceremony program, add an unexpected song into the mix—imagine the possibilities! Lisa Pressman is a pianist/vocalist who performs as a soloist or with the Lisa Pressman Ensemble. Lisa was voted “Best Instrumental” and “Best Ceremonial Soloist” in The Wedding Chronicle’s Readers’ Poll. Lisa’s original music is available on iTunes! You can reach Lisa at www.opusfromus.com/events and 602-906-4060.
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