Friday, June 17, 2005

what once was lost

For a time I genuinely believed I had irretrievably lost my voice.

I had no one to blame but myself, recognizing that it was caused by uncontrollable crying jags and chain-smoking. Even so, I couldn't even rustle up more than a croak when relying on that singer's mainstay: singing in the shower. Not even hot steam and perfect bathroom acoustics helped.

As with most things, I suppose, a little bit of time has lessened the need for both crying jags and chain-smoking, and I was pleasantly surprised to have found my voice again, at last, at last night's dress rehearsal for our concert, which will happen tonight.

It doesn't hurt that the concert will take place in a lovely 16th century stone church with lovely soaring arches and amazing acoustics. It also doesn't hurt when you're singing great music with a great choir lead by a great director. Even better, it's conveniently located around the corner from our apartment. I had such a good rehearsal that I nearly floated home last night.

Funnily enough, the theme for this concert is Life and Death. And because the Gods of Irony are smiling down on me these days, we begin with the rock-n-roll, party-hardy lyrics from Purcell's "Funeral Music for Queen Mary" (in the original English, to boot):

Man that is born of a woman
Hath but a short time to live
And is full of misery

Rock on!

In addition to movements two and four of the Purcell, we'll be singing again Charpentier's Easter Mass, this time adding the Sanctus to the Kyrie and Gloria. Rounding out the concert will be the experimental pieces we've done before, Omnia Muntantur (an exercise in moving scales and dissonant tones) and Komm Susser Tot - by far my favorite piece, which is sung at different tempos at the same time and to me sounds like a piece being playing on a piano with the pedal pressed down, and especially in a place with such great acoustics, it sounds amazing.

The Vocal Ensemble (that's my group) is sharing the bill with the Youth Choir of the Conservatory, and they are so good that they remind me of a similar ensemble I was privileged enough to be a member of a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

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