Lost high notes – anybody see them?

The most bizarre thing happened yesterday. I’m singing at the Bliss Bar, my favorite haunt in San Francisco. We had added on to our usual very simple sound installation, because the club is long and those further away from the band don’t get to hear as well. It is possible that was a factor. Then again, maybe not.

When we perform there, we usually do a long first set, a shorter second set and a very short third set. The crowd peaks around the middle of the event, and yesterday was no exception.

I sang the first set without a hitch, except for my distraction during my first number, due to sound regulation with the new setup.

Allison Lovejoy was the guest performer and I brought her up in the second half of the first set, doing 4 numbers with her from a semi-classical and vintage French cabaret Bastille Day program we had just done a few days ago. Those 4 numbers were more in my soprano range, but they all went great and my voice felt strong.

We take an intermission, and yes, I was wearing a strapless top and yes it was beginning to get a little cool and foggy the way San Francisco is bound to be in the late afternoon. And yes, DJ David was making crepes out front, and yes a lovely attendee was wearing a fabulous hat and she let me try it on and we took pictures outside. And yes, I was drinking ice water. A little.

15 minutes later I get back up to do the second set and I had NO HIGH NOTES. NO HEAD VOICE. Singers know what I am talking about. They were just GONE. I’m talking lyrics, I’m jumping down the octave when the song melodies went up out of my chest voice range, I’m asking for hot water and lemon. The band, to their credit, was terrific, Jason Martineau and Sam Bevan, they followed me, worked with it, supported me. I eliminated a song that I knew would not work, finished the set fine with Una Notte a Napoli, which is all in the chest range.

Drank more hot water, came back for the third (short) set, the high notes were better.

Today I’m fine. Just tried the voice.

BIZARRE. Is all I can say.

If it were really voice strain it would not have come back so fast.

WHAT WAS THAT?  An allergy??


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