~A note on cultural appropriation~
•Recordings are for your ears only! Do not disseminate. For real. It's illegal.•
•And bare with me on some of these, they're quite imperfect. Sometimes its flat by the end of the recording, or my voice is straining. But I hope these rough cuts get the basic parts across!•
•If a track glitches, try refreshing the page.
1. Create a shortcut to his page on your desktop
2. Use the search function to find the song you're looking for. ctrl. + F or cmmd. + F
I'm putting a lot of tracks on here, and we'll see if we get to them all this season. Every week, I curate the flow of the session to match where the group is at and mix in new and old ones, so please no song requests during class!
The source of this website's name, and a reminder to shine bright with your gifts in the world, because it makes you a permissionary for those around you. Laurence wrote it when he was training to become a choir leader, and it resonated with me when I was in the same place. It's a great simple round to carry with you, and good words to live by.
When we come into our calling
We become bells
Calling to everyone else:
Oh come, come into your calling!
Song alchemist Annie Zylstra derived inspiration for this song from the shifting nature of the land by the Trinity river in California. The river would periodically flood, washing away huge stony banks, and oftentimes homes and farms. The Trinity mountains were scarred with layer after layer of wildfire burns. As the salmon runned up the river, their bodies were in active decay whilst simultaneously achieving the lifelong task of spawning. Blessed Motion is an ode to the changingness of it all, outside of us and within us. Annie also quotes Martîn Prechtel who after witnessing the Guatemalan earthquake of 1976 devour entire villages, reflected that solid ground is just a myth for those who live on the earth rather than in it. For those of you want to dig deeper, here are her practice tracks, with a fun layering second part.
I believed in solid ground, until I saw the earth in motion.
In the winds of steady change, and in the ever rolling ocean.
Based on part of the inspirational poem The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, This classic LC song invites us into presence, and challenges us to "source our lives" from a transcendant beauty.
-Let us see the beauty every day,
and source our lives from its presence
-I want to know if you can see the beauty, even when it's not pretty every day.
A new and soothing song by Karly, this song brings us into our bodies and encourages trust in oneself. The descending low part is really fun and could be octaved up. Really an anthem inviting lots of harmonies.
Breathe easy, let it all go
rest your body, trust your soul
to guide your way and keep you whole
breathe easy let go.
A brand new simple round by Hark singer Ellison Graham, and a lovely mantra.
A lilting ,fun, and light 3-part round, based on Mozart. I found this song on an album by Barbara Swetina and the Findhorn singers.
A heartwarming slow, longer round that is reminiscent of my childhood, a throwback to 90's children's songs, and ultimately an epic, beautiful round. (Same composer who did the Wheel of the Water song.)
This pretty planet, spinning through space
your garden, your harbor, your holy place
golden sun goin down
gentle blue giant, spin us around
all through the night,
safe till the morning light.
A classic round you may find in "hippie" circles, or summer camps. The "sail away" part is fun to sing, and the churning rhythms mirror the oceanic theme.
Earth and ocean
sand and rolling sea
wind and motion]fire be lit in me
Lightly touch down to (earth...)
There are so many awesome morning songs, and I rarely teach them since choir is at night. But this one is so fun, and a go-to for me for years. Just the Soprano and Bass parts make a fun, reverant and yet goofy light hearted duet.
Oh morning, what a joy x3
Walking through you in the sun
A mesmerizing meditation on the nature of water, inherent to life and death. At the end of the track above I experiment with some harmonies on the "hold me water" part. Fun to layer. Composed by one of our own, song historian Saro Lynch Thomason.
-The water has carried me here, here.
the water will carry me home, home.
-Ho-o-old me, wa-a-a-ter
-Only she can have my body.
My friend and CCLT alum Arnae Batson arranged this version of a gospel hymn "So glad I'm here in Jesus's Name" from her church. She credits Dr. Bernice Johnson with this lyric version, and musicologist Nolan Williams Jr. with being instrumental in rearranging and reintroducing songs like this into the modern lexicon. As with so many songs in the Black American Sacred Music tradition, the author(s) were often uncredited and unfortunately, nameless. This song plays with the contrast of major and minor keys in the same song. The words can be changed to other fun things like "I shout out my name!" or "I can't humble down!" or "love has brought me here"
A haunting operatic-sounding, yet simple song. Great for beginner song leaders! The three parts are all different lengths so loop at different rates, which is part of why this song gives a lot out of a little, so to speak.
This will be a new kind of experience for the choir. Normally a song like this is tagged at the end of a longer song, so this short piece is called a "barbershop tag". Often barbershop style singing involves adding extra flare to a melody or song they're covering, and the tag is basically a bonus part where they get to really play, usually with the main chorus line. Anyway, barbershop tags took on a life of their own and there are conventions where people focus on just tags. It presents a bite-sized way to start experiencing that is a pretty difficult singing style.
Like Leaves in fall we'll fall in love, in love.
A recently released collaboration from folky new-agey performers, fun to play with, many options for harmony. The collaborators are Starling Arrow, Chloe Smith, Rising Appalachia, Leah Song, Tina Malia, Ayla Nereo, Marya Stark.
-I wanna lay my bones down in the water,
I wanna lay my body down on the earth
-Lean in, lean in, lean into the river
- Hum with the rain, come sing again, hum with the rain
Perhaps the most catchy ear worm of all time. This sweet and heartwarming epic song was introduced in winter '18/'19 at the CCLT reunion, and taught to about fifty song leaders and choir directors, and for the whole week long convention, we would break out into this song randomly and it was impossible not to sing along. Ellen is from the Midwest, where Winter is no joke. People have always had to come together to support one another in the face of extremely harsh conditions. It has (gasp!) verses, so will be a different kind of song than Hark usually does. The tracks below go through the parts in a boiled-down way. Here is a pretty casual performance of it that Winter.
This is my Summer song I sing in winter
helps me remember not to feel bitter
when all my travelling gets to unraveling
plans I made weeks ahead turn into flu in bed
that's when I turn to you, wondering what to do
you start to sing this song and I start to sing along...
Yesterday's news was rough, then there's the weather
but we have light enough when we're together
the days they are shorter now, years they are flying
here's how we save it all, there's no denying...
This is our Summer song, sing to remember
the light here inside of us, fearless and tender
there will be darker times, there will be lighter
but here we are tonight, what could be brighter?
I learned this song when I was nine. It was sung every night at the end of fire circle as the campers at Catoctin Quaker Camp filed off to their cabins, youngest to oldest. Instant glorious harmonies. A powerful classic, adn one to imbue into your lives as a lullabye. An adaptation of a chrystian hymn, "Abide with us O lord"...
At Village Fire 2018, Paul was doing some journaling on self-affirming mantras for his day, and came up with the harmonies very quickly and taught them to the whole gathering that evening. This is the original version, he has since made some changes to notes but I'm stuck in my ways. A powerful song to sing to yourself, I definitely cried the first time I sang it in earnestness to myself.
A humorous and epic round I learned from friends from the Murmurations choir from New Orleans.
"Cats meow out of angst....Thumbs, if we only had thumbs thumbs, If we only had thumbs, if we only had thumbs...we could we could we could we could break so much!"
Based on the Rumi poem "the Guesthouse". This song is an expression of gratitude to all our varying emotions that may come through. It is common to resist the less pleasant ones, but this song entreats them and validates them.
- Every emotion that arises has a right to be
- Come one, come all, come many. There are no locks upon this gate. There's room for all there's plenty. Time to grieve and celebrate!
-I feel a ripple in my heart, I feel an opening, singin welcome, welcome, welcome!
A fun, rhythmic layer song from Hark singer Chloe Lieberman. She asked a piece of land to which she was deeply bonded for guidance, and this song came through, about honoring the joyous creative part inside.
-Listen to the light alive inside, listen to your own heart.
-There is a drum that beats within rhythms of wisdom coming from your heart
-How can we know how to do our part?
A Hark community choir classic way back from the beginning, Unto this Land is a Marriage vow to the earth. I great example of Natural Voice Network style, a call and response, parts joining and branching apart, animist sensibility.
Unto this land, my heart I seal,
to always love and cherish as my own
and through my veins her crystal waters flow
to the ocean of my soul.
Unto this land, I shall return
when all my days upon this earth are done
and in her arms, I lay my body down
and my heart will have found its home.