Strange quiet memory
On iPhone. I do have grammar and spelling skills they just don’t work
with tiny keyboards and auto correct. Forgive my errors 😉 please and thanks.
I was just watching random videos on The Chive app when I came upon a small singing group (I doubt they were a choir as they were younger guys only…maybe an accapella group. They were standing in a huge train station like Union in Toronto or even more vast like Grand Central Station. The ceilings were vaulted and rose upward with the archaic elegance of a cathedral; glass, metal wood and stone. It had a stunning reverb.
The group tuned up and began to hum the first notes of their melody and then, much to the surprise of the passers by, they launched into a thickly layered chord that created more sounds than seemed possible and an 800 year old islandic hymn suddenly materialized within the sound.
It threw me back many years to a time when I was in high school. I went to an ‘arts’ school (by audition only, Although it was still public) for music and, by virtue of my major, we had a lot of music courses. Along with the courses we had to participate in several choirs. My first year I was in a jr jazz choir, a large stadium choir and my favourite, a small, hand selected chamber choir. The songs we sang in chamber we melodious and rich and although many were religious in nature, we also dabbled in fun little pieces containing gregorian chants.
This is where my love for music takes off, the interplay between sounds making phantom sounds that complete the layering of
Notes in a way you simply cannot achieve with instruments other than the human voice. I remember they always paired me with Scott, a nice sounding tennor to my mezzo soprano / alto toned voice. (I have a deep register for a female in both speaking and singing voices). I loved singing with him. Sometimes our teacher would silence an entire section and allow different voices to take over an blend. It was heavenly to me.
One time when we were performing at an old college at an event, we were given the most wonderful practice space; the old church on campus complete with dual bell towers and one of those massive pipe organs that took a month to clean and tune.
“Everyone split off and find a spot with your partner, no closer than a few feet from each other, all facing the bell towers in a broad semi circle.” Our teacher and conductor instructed.
We moved as requested and then she announced the name of a beautifully haunting hymn from hundreds of years before that we had been learning. We all kind of clued in at once and everyone stood up right and took a few deep drinks of oxygen before we pulled the air down to support our diaphragms and we began to sing.
We were quiet at first, testing they way out sounds bounced back to us in echoes, causing us to stutter a bit.
“Let go of the echo and just let it fly!” The teacher said.
And we did.
The sounds we created suddenly filled the space and flew up and down the bell towers, in fact, some particular cadence made the bells sound softly, adding yet another layer. It was heart wrenchingly beautiful.
I looked around and most of my classmates were singing with eyes closed (a big no no in performance of course) but then, out teacher had stopped conducting and stood back, listening. We were all captivated.
Silly little memory but that is the last time I can say I created something so beautiful with only my voice and the way it contributed to that amazing sound. I thought I’d never forget it….am so glad to have been reminded
Sorry I posted twice already. Dumb little Keyboard and badly responding thumbs! Incidentally , I have to go get an X-ray of my left hand. Is getting nothing but worse.
K. This ones for real. Will write again soon. Xo