Singing

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I’ve missed singing for the last couple of weeks, one choir I’m in breaks up for the summer and the leader of the other is away on holiday. I love the boost singing gives me. It releases endorphins which improve your mood and helps lower stress. What prompted this was hearing an item on a radio programme where choirs who have a complaint about something ( like the price of fuel?) get together and write a song about the issue then sing it out. The idea is you sing cheerfully but express your complaint. Apparently this is happening all over the world. The item was on BBC radio 4 and may be on the BBC sounds app.

Learning the trumpet

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This is the finger positions fit the New world symphony that Im trying to learn. I can get the lower notes ( I still need to learn which notes are which). One thing with loud music being played outside is that no one can hear the notes I’ve been murdering in here!

I need to get my lips stronger to get a good embouchure. Practice is the only way to do it. At the moment the air escapes from the side of my mouth instead of going down the trumpet. Then there is the moisture from your breath. That’s why you have drainage holes to let it out.

Anyway maybe I will learn it well enough to play to people? We will see.

Thudding music

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How do I draw the loud music coming from the pub over the road? It’s been going on since before we got in at 4pm and it’s 7pm now. It’s the base beat, it’s shaking the house. There are also people screaming and shouting. I’m trying to ignore it. But the window frames are rattling! It’s literally making my head hurt. My shoulders are tense. I feel very angry. But, the people there are very aggressive and I don’t feel able to challenge 30 or 40 of them.

Imagination is a good thing. But some of the things I’m thinking are very violent! How I wish I lived in the middle of a field, in the middle of the countryside. Trying to think of quiet things, but I’m still annoyed. 

Northern Soul

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To save my blushes I’ve drawn over a photo my friend took of me today.

After we had sung with the combined choir there was a brief break and then a woman got up and did a quick dance lesson to teach us  Northern soul dance steps. The music is in four four time, so she taught us four steps, stand on your left leg, tap your right foot behind, to the side of and in front of your left foot, then put your right foot down about shoulder width away from your left foot. Then putting your weight in your right leg repeat the moves using your left foot. After we learned to do that and danced for a while to a northern soul tune she added a jump, then jump and cross your legs spin round, clap, and carry on doing the side to side step.

I was jigging along with the rest of the crowd. I loved Northern Soul when I was a teenager.

The only problem? My knees are aching now.

Holst’s Planet Suite

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I’m watching a programme, late at night, with Holst’s planet suite. But it’s also got Professor Brian Cox, a famous astronomer, who is explaining details about the planets. During each section there are beautiful images of each of the planets, now they are showing multi cratered Mercury. If you have never heard the Planet Suite I would recommend it. The music is sublime, lyrical, atmospheric, full of complexity and confident, in turns loud and soft, discord and soaring melodies wrap into and around each other. There are sections covering rising octaves, then dropping down to gentle breezes of notes.

Jupiter is the next planet, and he is explaining the atmosphere and the poles of the planet. Its exactly the sort of programme I love, art, creativity and science mingled together.

If you can find it on the BBC iplayer I would recommend watching it.

Louds

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The choir were there but I decided not to include us in the photo. We have two more meetings of the choir before we break up for August then return in September.

Loud Mouth Women is an a capella choir, who meet at Newcastle Baptist church in Stafford Avenue, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme on a Tuesday evening. It is made up of female singers who don’t audition or have to read music and is open to anyone woman who wants to sing. It improves confidence, allows you to socialise, and gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill of singing in different languages. To do this we learn by repetition, learning songs phonetically.

Tonight we learned an arab song about friendship, sang an old favourite “moonriver” and had the pleasure of being taught by Caroline who was deputising for our normal musical director Kate.

We have also recently had the enormous pleasure of going to a Yoga group run by one of the Louds, which is run an hour and a half before we sing. I was so relaxed tonight I almost fell asleep in the choir.

Argh! Dress rehearsal

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Tonight is the dress rehearsal for “one night only” which we are performing on Friday. It’s come round too quickly. I’m very nervous. It’s a long session, with climbing up and down on wooden blocks, standing in formation and ‘trying’ to sing in four part harmony.

The church needs a lot of work it was built on the church yard in the 1840’s. It was designed by Pugin and the floor tiles are by Minton. The collection will go towards the restoration. It won’t go far towards the cost but it’s worth doing.

I say argh because I am really tired. I was helping cut back our hedge earlier and my arms ache.

I also have a costume change. My top is drying outside on the washing line, I’m hoping it will be dry in time.

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