Haydon School 2018

Francesca Landauer

Writing and recording an Italian pop song

Her story, in her words….

What my challenge was:

My challenge was to write and record a 3 minute pop song in Italian. Having previously composed music for a string trio I felt confident that I would be able to write for piano and guitar, however it was the Italian lyrics which took the most time and thought. I found it difficult to find Italian words which rhymed with each other, since I’m not fluent, but am studying Italian at A-level.

After completing my song I recorded it in a professional studio. This was also challenging as I had to practice recording at school first, with the correct equipment, since I was unfamiliar with music technology.

How it went:

I had originally had a few different ideas for song melodies, but I started with only piano chords and humming notes. I couldn’t write a song in English and directly translate it, because a) it wouldn’t rhyme; and b) Italian words tend to have many more syllables than English words! After choosing one idea, the verse and chorus melodies came surprisingly easily. I had to draft the lyrics a few times to try to use correct grammar and vocabulary, since I couldn’t ask anyone for help or proof-reading, however I hope that even if my Italian isn’t 100% accurate, the catchy melody should make up for it!

The recording process was very enjoyable and lasted roughly 6 hours. I began recording piano, before adding my guitar parts. My friend then recorded a drum part over this (I know for next time to start with the drums as they are easier to stay in time with than a metronome…) and then a bass line. I chose to add some synthesiser strings just to build texture in the chorus before finally recording my vocals. Some of the words were quite long and I found them difficult to sing at speed, especially with my nerves and excitement of being in the studio, however even famous Italian pop songs have to incorporate the beautifully extravagant and complex language somehow! Phew.

What I got out of it:

My experience has led me to feel more confident in myself, not just in Italian and music but also in my independence, because I proved to myself that I can complete anything I put my mind to.