ARTIST FEATURE: Meet Logan Tanner, our next featured artist! Logan is a countertenor, the winner of The American Prize In Opera and a regular with orchestras across the US and Europe. Let’s see what he has to say about rhythm and time in music!
1) Why is rhythm important?
Rhythm is the key to success in musical performance. Without correct rhythmic execution one is easily lost in the music and out of sync with the other members of the cast or ensemble. Furthermore harmony is built into the rhythmic pulse of the piece. If you are not in sync with that pulse the written harmonies won’t translate.
2) How do you practice your rhythm and sense of time?
I practice my rhythm by using a metronome. One of the most difficult aspects of my repertoire is learning to sing fast coloratura passages. What I do to train myself for this is I use a metronome and set it to a very slow tempo, master the coloratura passage at that slow speed and then increase the tempo by 5 bpm, then I master it at that new pace and continue this cycle until I can sing it at the speed I want it. This is a long process, but by the end of this process my coloratura is solidified into my muscle memory.
3) What are your favorite rhythmic exercises?
As a countertenor I sing Baroque music more than the average opera singer. With these baroque arias there is usually a recitative preceding it. Getting the rhythm correct in these recitatives is extremely important but you can easily shortchange the rhythms if you aren’t hyper vigilant, so I use a metronome to learn my recitatives because then I can know exactly when I am off.
4) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on Metronome Online?
I like that the tempo markings are matched up with the BPM that match that tempo marking. Sometimes as a singer you read “Allegro” but aren’t sure just how fast allegro should be. Well, Metronomeonline.com has solved that problem completely.
VIDEO: Check out Logan’s performance of “Fammi combattere” from Handel’s Orlando for Opera Modesto’s Festival at Home season!