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Sondheim: I Remember Sky

This song has long been a favorite of mine. It comes from a made for TV film called Evening Primrose which is in no way Stephen Sondheim’s finest, but this song is a gem. For me, it was an incredibly important song in my development as a singer because it taught me how to develop the arc of a song. The melody and harmonies have a definite melancholy quality, and it was so easy to simply delve into that feeling; to allow myself to get swept up by the sadness of a young girl who had lived indoors for so long that she couldn’t even remember what the sky looked like. But then during a performance at the Manhattan School of Music Prep Division, for no reason in particular, I decided to begin the song differently—as if I didn’t know where the song was going nor how sad the whole thing actually was. In this way I learned to let the song lead me and I was suddenly in the moment, discovering the song as it progressed. By the time I reached what is arguably the climax of the song, where the young girl sings “I remember days” as if she hadn’t actually thought about what a day—waking with the sun and letting the darkness curl you back into sleep—actually was. Only in this moment did I finally let the audience see how sad the whole situation was, and it was all the more powerful because it had developed organically.

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