Sunday 28 September 2014

Football Fans and Angelic Voices?

Or we might even describe what we did on Saturday 27 September as a super-busk? We sang for just over an hour in both the National Football Museum and the John Rylands Library. In both venues, we were very much the background but people did stop to listen and applaud.
The two buildings contrast starkly yet they are both iconic for Manchester. The National Football Museum is all gleaming glass and football images. It’s hard to get a sense of the sound you’re making there. The John Rylands takes you back to another time with its intricately carved panels, beautiful windows and old books. It’s easier to fill the space with sound there. 
Angelic voices?

Ironically half way through our event there we were treated to a “muted” performance by another choir. We had been intrigued by other people dressed all in black. Now we knew why. The performance was part of the launch for the Harmonious Society exhibition. Samson Yong’s work ‘Chamber Music II: Silent Scores & Non-Events’, part of the exhibition, explores the cultural construction of deaf people as disabled, in both current and historical dimensions and the performance was in keeping with that. Yes, they even found their note at the beginning and followed the sheet music in front of them. Maybe a good sight-reading exercise?    
In both venues we presented a good cross-section of our repertoire, singing many contrasting pieces: Deep River, I Got Rhythm, Kiss the Girl, Joshua, Here There and Everywhere / The Long Winding Road, How much is that Doggy? Kum Ba Yah, Soul Wind, The Way We Were Tears in Heaven, Smile, Can’t Help Falling in Love
For me personally this was a fabulous end to what had been a very stressful week. How do people who don’t sing manage?      

Wednesday 10 September 2014

There’s water in the bath!

We enjoyed signing at one of our favourite spots on Sunday: the Victoria Baths in Manchester. Only this time there was an added challenge. The main pool was full of water and dominated by a huge crucifix-shaped stage. We held our breath a little. Only Jeff was allowed on there. Would he remember where he was? Or would he step over the edge and fill in?
Fortunately, he spent most of his time with the basses and only ventured across the water to speak to the audience facing them.