We Spied this Looking Bird in Cornwall This Wednesday Before the Snow at the Edge of the Housatonic (or the turning edge of life whichever comes first). Thank you, ee cummings, for your silence poem and your “misuse” of punctuation that does make me pay more attention to the idea of silence.

(inquiry before snow
Imagephotograph by Doreen Ociari

WHO’S AWAKE? ME TOO? (it’s a dark Winter evening and I’m hoping negotiators and Congress People are Talking Together, as in having a duet that creates something besides their own separate bloviations. Listen to the Great Horned Owls, Guys and Gals. Males and females sing duets and their owlets reap the benefits. (a 420 character, 9 Line Poem by Patty)

Tips for either Duets or Diplomacy:

Know & stay in one part.

Listen closely so as to not miss cues.

Prompt with nods; find a blending voice, a voice with chemistry;

meet eyes, show feelings, develop a presence.

Peacemakers? Leaders? Teammates? Partners?

Heed these pointers; &, mayhap, study the Great Horned Owls’ duets:

“whoo, whoo-hoo, whooo, whooo; whoo, whoo-hoo, whoo-oo, whoo-oo”

which result in Owlets. Duets.


(waiting in the deep woods for the duet to happen…)

great horned Owls groom and duet

a lot of barking, but listen carefully they’re in duet here

and this is what it all leads to:

http://youtu.be/AzNzQv_1C1A  (Allessondra’s OKC Great Horned Owl Cam!!)

http://birdnote.org/show/great-horned-owl-duet (how to get this here?)


How to Sing a Duet: http://www.wikihow.com/Sing-a-Duet

“The most important thing about singing a duet, is finding a partner that has a singing voice that blends well with yours. There should be some chemistry between you, that makes singing alove song believable. When you sing to each other, your eyes should meet, and it should show feelings between you both. It is a form of acting and takes practice. If it is not a love song, and sung between two of the same sex, there needs to be a presence about each of you, which reveals feelings such as humor, or friendship, or even a bit of the comic showing though.

  • How to Sing a Duet
  • Make sure your voices blend, if you are doing harmonies.
  • Find your own style. It is not advisable to copy anyone else.
  • Be sure to relax while performing. If you and your partner are comfortable with each other, it will show.
  • Find a singer that is at the same level as you and has a voice that blends beautifully.
  • Make sure you acknowledge your partner after the song by a hug or a pat on the shoulders.
  • For practice on same-sex-duets, try “Beautiful Liar” by Beyonce and Shakira for girls, and “Me & My Shadow” by Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra (or Robbie Williams-Jonathon Wilkes remake).
  • When performing with a romantic partner, be sure to have eye contact. This helps with the chemistry between the two people.
  • A partner can be of the same sex, or opposite sex. A love song however, works better with one of the opposite sex.
  • Sometimes, you may have to sing lyrics that are not on the prompter as some layering effect (cf. Father & Son (the Cat Stevens & Ronan Keating duet). You will have to figure out the timing, the lyrics and hit the cue yourself.
    • Never pick a song that is out of vocal range of any one of the duo. You can change the key of the song so both can be comfortable,
    • Don’t cross over. It is a general musical rule that if you are lower than your partner, to never go higher than his/her notes. It becomes even more strictly reinforced the more people are involved in harmonizing. The only exception is when all are singing the same notes. In a four-part harmony, the two people singing the middle range can sing the same notes, the one in the lowest and highest range may not. The only other exception is when you are a lead singer in a band, where the lead lines jump notes in a more logical manner.
    • The logical downward ending is not always correct. If you are the higher singer in a two-part a harmony, while a musical phrase from C (‘do’) to A (lower ‘la’) or E (‘mi’) to C (‘do’) sounds logical in a solo, it is incorrect in a duet or harmony. The one singing lower B (‘ti’) should move up to C to end the song. You have to stay in E so you will not lose the harmony. Using “Me and My Shadow” as examples again, check how Robbie never goes down from ‘mi’ to ‘do’. They did, however, do a legal ‘lane switch’ when Jonathon insisted Robbie to sing the ending again.
    • Do not try to out sing the other. This rule depends from song to song. You may have to if there are many solo parts like Tom Jones & Catatonia version of “Baby It’s Cold Inside”. However, this rule becomes important when all you are doing is backing the lead singer up. Check “Something Stupid” by Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman for example. All Kidman did in the song was to harmonize with Robbie.
    • This guide is only about singing a duet, not about performance or partner etiquette.”