I’ve always loved to sing, almost as much as I’ve loved to write. Sing makes me feel like flying.
Since I moved to Zurich I thought it would be a great idea and a good way to know people to start singing again. I used to have my saturday band at high school, we didn’t have a garage but we had a basement. The fact is that it took me really long years to overcome that feeling of enormous embarassment when at the last year of middle school at 14 I had to sing a solo part in front of the whole school with parents and when I opened my mouth nothing came out but a gasp, a death rattle: my social death. I got the bulls of the school to call me: “the one who hit the wrong note” for some time… i was traumatized. I guess i am just too scared of big audiences since then.
Anyhow, last March i found an ad in a music shop and joined the Jazzcetera, an a cappella group. I never sang in a chorus before and it is for me a totally new experience. It is actually a double exercise since is like doing a swiss german course in parallel, which saves me time and money! What you shall also know is that I can’t play any instrument, neither read the notes… i do remember I studied it and was even able to play the flute as a child, but it’s all gone… My director says that there are actually many ways to learn so… i got enrolled. I shall thank my big number (what we called in Italian cavallo di battaglia) for that audition, being what’s up from 4 non-blondes, which i guess will just remain forever my song. So I always learn by heart and tend my ear to the other alto voices to get the right melody. The alto does not get to be the main voice very often unfortunately, which means that if I already know a song I have to learn it from zero in a totally different way.
One of the thing i love the most is our warm up session. Basically is like regressing to childhood and being allowed to do all those weird and funny noises that your mum always prohibited you to do in public! I surely got to work on my improvisation techniques and i still get the scary feeling when it’s my turn to go… But someone says that to overcome a fear you shall throw yourself into it, so i am for the schock therapy. If you have never heard a chorus or in particular an a cappella group you have to exlpore! o you tube you have plenty of materials including people duplicating themselves into video where they sing each time a different tone and then they paste them all together… I went to Freiburg last month to see The Real Group, a swedish group on the scenes since about 20 years. I was so amazed by how just 5 voices could fill up a whole theathre space for 2 full hours and get the whole crowd in standing ovation at the end!
I leave you with this. A song which gets me shivery every single time we sing it. The harmony of the voices coming together is incredible! It’s funny sometimes to think that I have to sing sounds like ti ti ti ti ti ti or dab dai ra, ba da du bab da which taken as single almost don’t make any sense, but then when all the voices get together the result is wonderful. You can judge.
PS this is not us, but i hope we sound quite the same!
You can follow us here: http://www.jazzcetera.ch/index.html