Video sneak peaks
Disclaimer: All of these videos are captured with permission, amidst an active practice, so are naturally unpolished, non-presentational, and essentially a glimpse of an experiential moment. So not necessarily representations of the "Best" go through of a song by any means. My intention is for singing to be participatory, rather than performative.
This was at CCLT. I was teaching Tibyeh Pieyom, A russian Liturgical Hymn, in four parts, and the goal was to teach it from scratch in fifteen minutes. We used music sheets here, though I rarely do. One of my favorite moments of all time.
A groovy Spanish four-part song by the lovely Gretchen Sleicher, here a singer took a video while I was teaching the Jupiter Community Choir. It can be really fun to cut parts out and add them back in!
“Whilst not actually a baka/mbuti piece, this is my attempt to honour the art form/culture/spirit tradition. Meli e is one of the names given to the spirit of the forest. This chant is a blessing song for the Meli e. It has been sung many times in ritual retreats to send apologies to the forests and all the creatures wounded by human kind’s desecration of that magical environment. I would appreciate it if this message could be communicated to listeners in any performance of this song, either in an introduction or program notes.” – John Bowker
Ear of stone, by Laurence Cole. A song based on the poetic bittersweet musings of Robin Wall Kimmerer. Here one of the JCC singers is capturing us walking around in "weave," one of my favorite tools of group singing. It allows everyone to make their way through a constantly changing mixture of harmonies and parts!
"The Beauty of what we love" by the UK composer Nickomo, is based on the poetry of Rumi: "Let the beauty we love be what we do/ there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."
Unto This Land by another UK composer, Helen Yeomans. "A song of our marriage to the earth", it presents some chilling overlapping harmonies.
Here I am with my dear friend Annie Zylstra, who taught me this Ukranian Birthday song, which we sang in Arcata, CA. It makes great use of a simple drone part. Droning can be just as hard as holding down a harmony!