“Sing for the day, sing for the moment, sing for the time of your life”—Styx
“No storm disturbs my inward calm…How Can I Keep From Singing.”
Do you missing singing like I do? Business Daily on the BBC said August 4 that live music will be the last thing to return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic. My last counselor told me “Concerts are like food for you!” and he prescribed one at least biweekly. Now I’m on a crash diet except for my internet binges.
I have been tuneless for weeks, it’s like selective mutism as I do sing constantly in my head; I just don’t seem to have the energy to actually vocalize. I have been struck dumb except for short respites when musical friends perform online, or I put on a favorite CD. Here’s a 20-minute BBC podcast about the return of live music; one spokesperson notes that some venues may not survive. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csz89n
Now my favorite tunes barely reach me—the news about group singing, especially non-professional (the bulk of what I now do) is dire. Singing and dancing are being demonized as the most hazardous activities possible, yet their mental health benefits are ignored. Volunteer and church choirs/orchestras are looking to the Christmas season in total dismay. Normally directors would be designing programmes now and ordering music. As their members tend to be older, choirs may put some at increased risk of COVID-19 spread should they attempt to reunite this fall.
While I was in university Todd Rundgren wrote about enlightenment through music: “And a bell in my head will ring” All the Children Sing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG0_Af4jJ8M
Kerry Livgren, ex of the band Kansas, also wrote of the power of music in praise of creation and the Creator: Amazing vocalists are Warren Ham and Michael Gleason on All Creation Sings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omswEALBLKY
I need you to Sing to my Soul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy1PCm71QgY MJ has several excellent concerts including one for his recent 60th birthday on Facebook Live. Please check him out.
People like Joan at Masks for Performers are helping us return to ‘normal’ so that choirs can meet again. She has devised with input from others several prototypes to allow free jaw movement while keeping the mask off the face. If you sew, please join the Facebook group for patterns and suggestions to get us all singing. Here is founder Joan Fearnley trying a favorite aria, one I studied myself! O mio babbino caro (Puccini): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XGF5JOA2pM We will need lots of masks like these if we return to indoor musicmaking. If you know sewers who can help or are one yourself, make sure to sign up.
A more modern music example is from Switchfoot (my favorite live band other than U2). KEEP SWIMMING AND KEEP SINGING. A cover of Frank Ocean’s Swim Good, now a Quarantune. “Think of what you can do with what there is.” Ernest Hemingway was quoted in the video.
Musicians and creatives will find a way—it’s what we do to make sense of life. I was on a choir tour and heard this choir sing this heavenly piece live. They deservedly won Choir of the World in 2002 at Kathaumixw with conductor/composer Michael Bojesen, and I recorded it off the CBC broadcast later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsDNO_6Xzy0 In English it means Eternity, and that’s how long we will sing….
DON’T FORGET: Many performers (spoken word, dance, theatre and music) have tip jars and donation buttons. Do support the ones you value, so they can still have a livelihood when the storm passes over. One of my favorite Scripture verses “It came to pass” is still true.