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
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
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