Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Singing in that good ol' harmony

I've been using Pandora at work lately to provide some background music, but I haven't been able to take any one station for long before needing a change. Yesterday, however, I created a station around acapella mens groups, and found it kept me going my entire shift.

Do Wop, Vocal Jazz, barbershop--whatever you call it, it covers a lot of ground; from the King's Singers to Boyz II Men, and some amazing groups I'd never heard of, like Tonic Sol Fa. There are covers of old chestnuts to jaw-dropping arrangements of familiar tunes to original works that left me speechless. The King's Singers' cover of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes" about left me in tears. If I had money for it I would have bought at least two or three albums yesterday.

In high school and college I was privileged to sing in several acapella groups. There is nothing quite like singing tight harmonies and energized rhythms with a group of guys that blend well. I've almost always enjoyed making music in a group over solo work, and I miss it.

I remember back before I moved to Boise coming over here for the River Festival any time I heard the Nylons were performing. I remember riding a shuttle bus home from one concert, my brother and I being completely unable to contain ourselves and breaking into song. I'm still a bit surprised we did it, but by golly if we didn't soon have a majority of the passengers joining in. We sang everything we thought people would know, including patriotic songs. That was probably the most enjoyable bus ride I've ever taken, and I still get chills thinking about it.

I think I disappointed my mother when I didn't become a music teacher. I don't regret that decision, but I do sometimes wish I'd tried some other ways to make music pay. I think the unbounded opportunity to make music was one of the main reasons I had a hard time getting out of college.

Right now my life is necessarily focused on supporting and raising a young family. But someday I will find my way back to performing. I don't think I'll be entirely whole until I do.

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