Sunday, October 26, 2008
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.