Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Songs Unsung - Music Review

What: Songs Unsung
When: 18 April 2020
Where: YouTube
Performed by: Daniel Assetta and Nicholas Griffin
Lighting by: Peter Rubie
Daniel Assetta
The internet is full of people finding ways to express their work in a live format whilst keeping themselves and the rest of the community safe. Sole Sessions has found a way to allow performers who have lost their gigs a chance to perform and earn at least a bit of money to help them get by.

Daniel Assetta leads the charge with his half hour homage to musical theatre in Songs Unsung. The show took place live on the 18th April, but with the magic of YouTube you can listen to Assetta's magical voice (and Nicholas Griffin's excellent keyboard skills) as often as you like. It's better than radio because you don't have annoying announcers or ads or competitions!

Assetta is a musical theatre star in the making and whilst I can't comment on his dancing, I can tell you his voice is one of those magical tenors which give you goosebumps in the higher notes. You don't have to believe me. Check it out for yourself.

I do think he was a bit nervous at the start which had his vocal chords a bit tight, but as he settled in the true beauty he has been gifted with was able to be set free. Assetta is still young and with a voice this good now, I can't wait to hear how his voice develops over the next few years.

Part of the nerves comes from the fact this is new format for him. He has always been surrounded by all the people, rigmarole, and narrative which comes with a musical theatre production. In Songs Unsung Assetta strips all of that away and it is just him, a pianist, and a microphone.

Assetta has chosen some of his favourite songs including my favourite, 'Somewhere'. The songs include 'Don't Rain On My Parade', and 'Losing My Mind' amongst others. Assetta also apparently has an unhealthy love of Disney. I forgive this though, because his Disney medley was so incredibly well constructed and sung so gloriously.

Assetta tells us a bit about himself and his connection to these songs, but he keeps it short and very authentic which helps really show up the live aspect of the show. My only complaint is I would have liked him to look to the audience (camera) sometimes to keep us connected.

There are critics who might say you don't get the atmosphere of live performance in this format but the live chat really makes the audience feel connected to each other and the performer. No, it's not the same, but it is pretty damn good!

Sole Sessions are ticketed events, but each performer also has a tipping mechanism (Assetta's is PayPal) and the details are available as captions on the screen as well as a link being in the description. You can pay whatever you can or whatever you think his work is worth. In this case you are probably going to want to pay a decent tip I reckon.

The Sole Sessions format, which is the brainchild of Amylia Harris, Leila Enright and Jeremy Willmott, is a very clever idea and a great addition to the online live offerings available at the moment. This live performance online outreach trend is exciting and this team is doing it extremely well. Productions values (image, sound, and lighting (Rubie)) are excellent. Keep an eye out for the next one!

4.5 Stars

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