Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Rise, cover by Superfruit

With Brian Crum, Mario Jose and Mary Lambert.

Superfruit is the duo Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. Scott is the first singer with the great hair that looks like an ocean wave. Mitch Grassi is the second singer with the voice of a very strong woman.

They are both from Pentatonix and they have a YouTube channel that centers on music and comedy.

Brian Crum is the individual who sang "Creep" for America's Got Talent.

Mario Jose is a singer from San Francisco who studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and was part of the group Pitch Slap. His web page with his music. 

The original version of Rise that inspired Superfruit and the others is by Katy Perry. It's good, but the Superfruit version is actually better because all of the voices are stronger, and blended they are simply outstanding. Mind-blowing, actually.

So why don't you appreciate it?

Sometimes these reaction videos can get at what they see that we do not. Most of the time they do not. They simply react. "Wow, that was great" and so on. But other times the people reacting are more specific.

These two take awhile but eventually they get to it.

A vocal coach analyzes the video.

Brian Crum reminds me of two friends combined but neither of them can sing.

Another vocal coach. She brings a different perspective. I skip through all of the intros. I think you can skip most of this to the analysis when the song is finished.

So that's it for the reactions. There are very many more on YouTube if you're interested in knowing how people respond to this cover.

How do people translate the song?

There are several spots where you are faced with the decision of showing what is said or showing what is meant by what is said.

This first by Anissa the best available.

It has the lyrics as written and underneath them as translated.

Anissa does not say "doubt" she says "blind."

They are similar signs. Anissa does it both right hand and left handed and both times the sign is for "blind." Two bent fingers placed at the side of the nose under an eye.

"Doubt" is that same hand configuration with the nose in the middle of the two bent fingers and pulled away twice. It's a double motion sign. Hook, hook.

I say "blind" two bent fingers pushed forward toward the eyes on either side of the nose.

I say "doubt" those two same bent fingers at the same place pulled away from the eyes twice.

Online dictionaries agree with this to 80%.

People conflate the two signs all over the place.

So when you see "blind" and "doubt" in the world at large you will not know which English word is intended. So you have to blend them in a thought-cloud.

Other translators place both fingers to the convenient side of the nose, both fingers below one eye.

If Anissa were here I would ask her how she signs  "blind."  Because she signs "doubt" the way Soph signs "blind."

"Rise" is signed "stand up."

I sign "rise" as a person already standing up rising in the air. (A person) elevating. That's what the song is about.

I choose to sign "archetype" as "first type."

Anissa signs "archetype" as "normal all around"

"Story" Anissa shows a fairly floral version of "story"

I always show "story" as a chain knitted in the air. A initial two-handed link elaborated on both sides with additional one-handed links expanding outward. A story developing in the air. Because that's how I learned it and that's what has worked for me for fifty years.  It's similar to "language," two "L" placed together then shaken apart in opposite directions.

Anissa shows "shake my core" as "stab my heart, push back the knife."


I show a spinal column skeleton that's shaken. The sign for "bone" stretched vertically for spine with ribs, then rattled. I am much more graphic than Anissa.

Observing other people's choices, how they agree, shows me how strangely I speak when compared with them. I believe that I am much more graphic than the usual translator. I always go for the thing that is the most visually representative even when I have to make things up based on genuine signs. My manner must be a little bit shocking to people not used to it. Odd.

I don't care.

I yam what I yam.

And I also think that my version is better than all of these.

Okay, I watched another one and she's just copying Anissa. The similarities are not coincidental. Bah.

The third one.  "I know it. I know it."

I dropped it at "know." There is no point continuing.

"Know" is the fingertips tapped at the forehead. It shows something inside your head. People lazily lift their hand so far as their cheek, as if all their knowing occurs behind their cheek and not in their cranium. I don't like that. It's too close to "peach" and "embarrass" and "cousin" and a slew of other unrelated signs. So I quit watching.

A fourth one.  "archetype" is shown "time spread out before me" Does she even know what "archetype" means?  The lights go out in the video and it darkens unnecessarily. "Conform" is shown as "mesh, progressed ahead of me"

I give up watching. No point in continuing.

"conform" means "match" or "same-o same-o."

"Me same-around not!" That's how you show "I won't just conform."

These women are making me angry. Because they're all being showy and not being specific. Not being true to the lyrics, nor true to the music, nor imaginative. They're off the beat. They are not conveying what they are hearing. They are not expressing the song. There is no sense at all to the essence of the music, the reason why this song is attractive.

They need me. I need to show them. That's all there is to it.

See, Superfruit and their LGBT pals took this song and owned it. They synthesized it into something better than Katy Perry did herself and blew people's minds. And Perry made the song famous. The interpreters can do the same thing in sign that Superfruit and pals did with their voices. They can show the essence and meaning and beauty of the song better than Katy Perry did with her voice and her video. But they don't. Instead, they provide the shadow of the original song, not a newer more crisp more clarifying dimension of the song. They each blow their chance at adding a beautiful fresh dimension.

1 comment:

ricpic said...

Talented guys if they'd only dial it down a notch or two from hysteria.