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Practice Tracks

~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.

To search:

                                   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 

Stand in the Light - Helen Yeomans
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An instant classic chant, levity, fun.  It brings to mind the image of surrendering to the goodness coming to you.

Lift up your hands

Open your heart

Stand in the light as it shines on you

Soprano -
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Alto - Helen Yeomans
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Tenor - Helen Yeomans
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Bass - Helen Yeomans
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Solitude - Ian Carrick
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This song comes from Bend, OR songleader Ian Carrick, who wrote this song on a solo bikepacking trip.  His father offered to drive him out to the wilderness and just hang out for a few days camping solo himself to facilitate the trip, and Ian wrote this song about the experience.
 

-We all need a little time alone; solitude is deeper than alone

- Soul, I see you shining through, doing how you do. Honoring your truth. Do not play it small. Your gift is leading me home.

-Thank you for giving me the space to call myself home.

Melody -
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High -
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Low -
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Autumn Light - Yuri Woodstock
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This song came to me as I was watching the sun go down on a brisk Fall evening.  The deepening color complexity in the leaves' melancholy yet celebratory changing; overlaid with the echo of that same bittersweet transition in the day's cycle into nightfall.  Every Autumn I feel like I'm coming home.

 


Practice Tracks

Part 1:
Autumn light fading right into the end of day
Autumn air, lead me where I'm home, home to stay.
Part 2:
The day is leaving, the stars have come
Part 3:
The color of dreams; the color of dusk
The color of peach, the color of rust
Part 4:
Fading into all my dreaming

Humming Round - Nick Prater
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So haunting, this one.  I first learned it from Annie Zylstra at Singing Alive '17. Excellent for experimenting with vowel sounds.  I've seen this one refuse to end in a big group around a fire many times.
 

Home in my body - Karly Loveliong
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The words are direct, the message is important.  Every time I sing this it feels like an important reminder.  It's so common in our culture to see the body as something to be worked on, if not judged outright, yet these words affirm our homeness amongst all of it, the pleasure and pain.


Practice Tracks

1: Home I am, Home in my body, home in my body I am home
2: I am home in my body
3: In this breath, in this heart, in this pleasure, in this pain;
In this breath, in this heart, I am home again.

 

Tibyeh Pieyom - Trad. Russian
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This is a magical song with a magical lineage.  It is an old Christian hymn that means, roughly, "To you we are singing, we are blessing you.  We thank God and pray to you, Lord our God."  And I encourage taking lightly the somewhat staunch translation that has been passed down.  This is a song of ultimate praise and gratitude for life, and its harmonies are out of this world.  It was passed to me by Laurence Cole, who received it from one of his mentors, Siobhan Robinsong, who received it from one of the founders of the Natural Voice Network, Nick Prater.  There is a story that Laurence's choir sang it at an old folks' home in Port Townsend, and on their way out, a nurse with a Russian accent came rushing out, "Please, please, come sing it again to my father! He cannot leave his room, but when he heard this song from his childhood there were tears streaming down his eyes!  He wants to hear it again." So they came back and did a bedside rendition to the nurse's father, who was a resident there.  This is an encouraging example of how cultural appropriation can sometimes shelter and transport a potency and depth, even when in foreign hands, to eager ears.  The man hadn't heard the song in something like fifty years...

Tibyeh pieyom
tibyeh blagoslovim
tibyeh blagodarim
go spo di
ee molim tibyeh bojanash x3
go spo di
a men x3

Soprano -
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Alto -
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Tenor -
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Bass -
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Sun Arise - Helen Yeomans
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A powerful and chilling ode to the Winter Solstice, death and rebirth. Another one from the Natural Voice Network and one of my favorite composers ever.



 

Teaching Tracks

Sun arise, sun arise
As the earth Turns 'round, 
all is still, without sound
hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah 

Let the Way be Open - Abigil Spinner McBride, Arr. Heather Houston, AND Pam Blevins Hinkle
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My mashup of two different arrangements on the classic song about getting out of our own way.  Heather Houston did the harmonies on the main melody, Pam Blevins Hinkledid the three response harmonies.    It all adds up to quite the sound.  We will probably play with this one selecting a few harmonies at a time.

Sing Through my voice, play through my hands

Let the way be open

Melody - Abigail Spinner McBride
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Drone on melody - Heather Houston
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High - Heather Houston
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Higher - Heather Houston
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Tenor - Heather Houston
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Bass Response - Pam Blevins Hinkle
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Tenor Response - Pam Blevins Hinkle
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High Response - Pam Blevins Hinkle
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It's When You Hear Me - Helen Yeomans
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A soulful and honest reflection on being heard.  We all need this.  The lower three parts start on the same note and branch out, and the Soprano starts higher, these parts weave together beautifully.
 

It's when you hear me that I feel known
It's when you hear me that I'm not alone

Can you hear my heart song?

Can you hear my prayer?

x2

Soprano -
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Alto -
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Tenor -
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Bass -
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Heart to Heart - Nickomo Clark
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Nickomo is an awesome composer based in England, writing songs of earth worship that are often overlapping polyphonic feasts for the ears.  He has put out a bunch of song books.  Check it out here.  This was, believe it or not, the first four-part song I ever lead.  I guess I was grabbing the bull by the horns.  I would recommend starting out treating it as a two-part song with just the Soprano and bass parts.

Heart to heart

Hand in hand

Healing the circle

Healing the Land

Soprano -
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Alto -
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Tenor -
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Bass -
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O Light Abide -
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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"...
 

O Light Abide - One part -
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Goldenrod Round - Annie Zylstra
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In her nature-reverent style, Annie gives us one of her most beautiful rounds dedicated to the time of year when successive flushes of yellow mark our Autumnal glory.

Sun wanes along the field

Goldenrod begins

sighing trees let go of leaves

day turns to night again

Goldenrod Round - One part -
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I Decline - Ahlay Blakely
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One among so many amazing song-tools that Ahlay gives us in her album Spells from the Unknown, this rousing parts song reminds us that we can choose not to go with the flow, to be true to ourselves despite sometimes having that run against peoples expectations or wishes of us.

I am willing to risk belonging

I am letting go of disappointing you in order to be true to myself

I decline, I decline. I am on the side of my own soul.

Low -
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Med -
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High -
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Sun Arise - Helen Yeomans
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A powerful and chilling ode to the Winter Solstice, death and rebirth. Another one from the Natural Voice Network and one of my favorite composers ever.



 

Teaching Tracks

Sun arise, sun arise
As the earth Turns 'round, 
all is still, without sound
hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah 

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