Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voices


Vocal workshop. Thirty something of us locals, a dozen or so of the fabulous American touring choir who were running the event, all of us in the assembly hall of a local primary school, the women in bright colours, a good few in pink and fuschia and mauve, harmonizing by happy accident with the purple plastic chairs.

And we sang all day a cappella, learning as we went. African choruses. A Georgian song. Traditional American gospel. Appalachian folk. Shape note. Slap down on perfectionism and the urge to get it right. How is the body, how is the breath? Stay loose. Are you enjoying it?

I was still husky after the flu. Doesn’t matter. Just go outside and cough while the others create wave upon wave of sound, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and then drink and come back in again, the chorus goes on, just join in when you can. Float on the ocean. Sing.

I can fit in as a soprano or alto. I am happiest in the higher range, soaring. The point of choral singing is not to listen to your own voice, you can’t hear it anyway. It is to sound the note with your throat and your belly and your heart, with your whole body, every cell, and to trust that it will reach the right place, the place where it needs to go.

12 comments:

Zhoen said...

Oh, oh, I want to come join you. Glory.

herhimnbryn said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful. Can I join in too?

Dale said...

How lovely!

Sky said...

healing at its best!

Winterwood said...

singing is SO good for the soul! I love singing in a group - used to be in a choir many moons ago!

Relatively Retiring said...

I can see the pinks, mauves and fuschias, 'harmonising by happy accident with the purple plastic chairs'. What harmonic bliss!

Cat B said...

Dear MM, I'm new to your site and so enjoyed this post. Think we should take this approach with everything!

leslee said...

Oh, how fun.

mm said...

Thanks everyone!

Zhoen: I wish you could.

HHB: You too.

Dale: It was ....

Sky: That's exactly what it was.

WW: For me, group singing is so very different from solo stuff. Good for the ego, and the sound is generally wonderful.

RR: The colours struck me as I walked in the door.

CatB: Welcome and thank you! I wish I did :-)

Leslee: Fun has been in short supply of late, so this was particularly welcome.

pohanginapete said...

Someone one told me my singing was good but I suspect flattery. I'm more sure my singing voice sounds, to pinch Leo Kottke's phrase, "like geese farts on a muggy day".

I love listening to good singing though. Your event sounds great.

Nao Sims said...

Great Blog!

herhimnbryn sent me over here. I was blogging about singing today too. Tis a good thing to do~

I will be back.

mm said...

PP; I think that if your singing was bad, there would have been a discreet no comment.

Nao: Welcome and thank you. Good to have you here.