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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 

The Storm - Kira Seto

Kira Seto's Storm

Part 1: the storm surges inside/my whole body shakes/

I want to hide but I stand here
Part 2: keep your heart inside / 
so alive beating beating beating

your strength as you stand here
Part 3: love breathe in breathe out you’re alive
beating beating beating

your strength stand here in..
Part 4: love my whole body shakes ahhhhh…. I stand here in…

The Storm - soprano - Kira Seto
The Storm - alto - Kira Seto
The Storm - tenor - Kira Seto
The Storm - bass - Kira Seto
Flame - Susie Ro Prater

This song has been described as the distillation of all that Nick Prater told his daughter, Suzie Ro Prater, when he was on his deathbed.  Suzie Ro has a unique fire for powerful, vivacious song leading. She has carried along what her father began with the Wild Harmonies chorus and taken it to magnificent new levels.  The musicality blends triumphant chords with dissonant depth.  It matches the words wonderfully.  One of my singers' all-time-favorites, we focus on the fugue/ first half, which has a really different energy than the second half!  Here is the original,  choral version, and here is Suzie Ro's singer/songwriter solo version.

Listen deeply, a flame in the center of the storm
she sings in silence, inside the ocean of my soul.

Voices rise and weapons fall and nations unite around the world

and songs of peace at the heart of every land

Flame - soprano - Susie Ro Prater
Flame - alto - Susie Ro Prater
Flame - tenor - Susie Ro Prater
Flame - bass - Susie Ro Prater
Go To My Mother - Thomas Ravenscroft

Original melody by Thomas Ravenscroft from the 1600's.  This one has changed over time, the original words were "Go to Jane Glouer (Glover) and tell Her I love her, and by the low of the moon I will come to her" .  Some contemporary spoof versions include, "Go to jane Glover and tell her I loath her and by the light of the moon, I'll push her over."  This version is the one sung by a late friend of mine, I like how it's more universal.

Go to my mother
and tell her I love her
and by the light of the moon
I will come to her

Go To My Mother - one part - Thomas Ravenscroft
Ferry Song - John Jenkins 1600's English

One of my favorite Mary Poppins-esque songs, bringing to mind images of some goofy old English blokes making their way to a gathering or pub across a lake. A very old drinking song, I originally learned it in 2017 when I took the Ferry across the Salish sea to attend Community Choir Leadership Training from magical Canadian song elves.

Ferry Song (one part) - John Jenkins 1600's English
Hangaiwa - Zimbabwe

The words to this song have been presented to me as meaning "the pigeons will die together in the nest tonight". And that it reflects the undying nature of love. It is popular among community choirs right now as a deep emotional song, and this arrangement certainly conveys that aspect of the song.  It was brought to the west by Michael Spiro and Michael Williams's Bata Mbira album, which contains Afro Cuban music.  Here is their recording. As you can see, it's not a sad song by any measure, though their cover may have pulled the song in an upbeat direction. 

     For an ethnomusicology perspective: According to Chartwell Dutiro, “This song combines two classic musical styles – payinera guitar and jerusarema rhythm. Payinera is a style of guitar that was played by lone guitarists busking on trains and in beer halls. Payinera came to Zimbabwe with migrant workers from South Africa. Jerusarema is typical Zimbabwe rhythm from Murehwa."

    I think it's important to recognize that our experience of the version of this song we're singing is it's own thing, and probably a far cry from the various traditions that informed it's growth and spreading.  That being said, I think it's a very powerful song as it is.


* This is a wonderful resource page of songs from Heartland Harmonies. Scroll down or search the page to find "We are the way"

Whenever you See Green - Laurence Cole

Laurence Cole Wrote this song about the reality that just about everything we love in this life, all our food that nourishes us, every animal and plant, flower and ecosystem, is only possible because of photosynthesis, which humans see as the color green.  We're literally seeing sunlight being turned into sugars that feed the plants that feed the animals all of which feed us and make our lives possible and our love possible.


Whenever you See Green Melody - Laurence Cole
Whenever you See Green Harmony - Laurence Cole
Whenever you See Green Bass - Laurence Cole
Whenever you See Green Descant - Laurence Cole
The Beauty of What We Love - Nickomo

Based on the words of Rumi, this hauntingly beautiful and spacious piece is a powerful reminder. Nickomo is a composer in the UK who does lots of spiritual chants and rounds.  Check it out here.

Practice Tracks

May the beauty of what we love, what we love, 
be what we do...


High Horse - Whitney Bembenek
High Horse - high part - Whiney Bembenek
High Horse - middle part - Whitney Bembenek
High Horse - low part - Whitney Bembenek
We've Got Teeth - Jonah and Yuri Woodstock
We've Got Teeth - bass part - Jonah and Yuri Woodstock
We've Got Teeth - tenor part - Jonah and Yuri Woodstock
We've Got Teeth - alto part - Jonah and Yuri Woodstock
We've Got Teeth - soprano part - Jonah and Yuri Woodstock
Riding My Bike - Laurence Cole

Low Part - Riding my bike, riding my bike, riding my bike to work and back

Middle Part - Ooo I like to ride my bike, ride it to work, and back

High Part - I can hear the birds, I can feel the breeze

   I can smell the blossoms on the trees

   I can feel my body growing strong

   It just makes me want to sing this song

Riding my bike - low part - Laurence Cole
Riding My Bike - middle part - Laurence Cole
Riding My Bike - high part - Laurence Cole
Rise up O Flame - Christopher Praetorius c. 1600s

An old classic fire circle song.  Great as a three part round, though you can accomplish eight parts and create a cacophonous experience!  Here I recorded it on the fly with a four part version.  For a more beautiful rendering check out Libana's version. It's originally "show to us..." but commonly sung "bring to us, or "show to us",

Rise up o flame
by thy light glowing

give to us beauty

vision and joy

All that Open Water - Laurence Cole

In this song, Laurence captures that moment of bewonderment that takes place when a vast body of water opens up before you. He has a detailed account (and his own stellar practice tracks!) on his website here, so these are kind of redundant, but enjoy!

Practice Tracks

When I saw all that open water
something opened in my soul
I felt the peace in the beauty of all that is
reminding me all is one, all is round, all is full
all is well, all is whole.


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