What does this have to do with singing you ask? Not much, but the MP has a lot to do with singing. Which brings me to the next non sequitor.
Back before the turn of the millenium, I went with my better half to a music festival in Northampton MA. It was named, appropriately enough, "The Loud Music Festival". Let me begin by saying, I can state empirically that it was indeed loud, very loud. At one point when bands were setting up, I went over and chatted with the guy on the soundboard. I asked him, "so how are you mixing this?" He laughed and said "I'm not, everyone told me just crank their feed as loud as you can."
Well, the result, as you might expect, was a wall of sound in which it was hard to distinguish guitar from drums, vocals from keyboards, it was in sum, a big angry mass of noise, punctuated only very occassionally by a "mote juste" of phrasing, vocalization, or guitar riff. After a couple hours, we left to a brilliant spring afternoon that seemed painfully beautiful and so quiet, even though we were walking down Main St in Northampton.
So, my point, you ask. Consider "Angel Breathing Out.". Right now,our dynamic range is about equivalent to the House of Commons or the Loud Music Festival, loud, louder and really loud. And the funny thing about loud? It seems to have an angry edge even if you don't mean it.
Considers the markings of the music, they neither toil....yes, they are passive, but they beg to be observed. From the opening to measure 17....mp, then mf to measure 25, then back to mp to 37 then we get into a whole mf/f/ff/mf section that runs to the subito at measure 72, where, in a tender resolution to the conflict of the piece, we end, where we began, at mp.
There a couple notable things about this piece. First the somewhat haunting and cryptic lyric, that cuminates in the line "aware my soul is lifting". Second, the driving intensity of the beat, like stallions pulling us unceasingly forward. Third, the intensity of both the music and lyric: this piece is about the rupture of our earthly bond, on the wind and in our souls, we are carried into the realm of angels.
And finally, the song demands that we sing it with the intensity of a soul fraught with anguish and longing. An intensity that is expressed both in MP and in FF, but an itensity that has no edge of anger, no hardness to it, just an expectant, if anxious energy.
Hail Britannia, Rock on, explore the deep Grand chasm Canyon of vocal dynamics, and remember wise old saying "listen louder than you sing Grasshopper"