Monday, May 23, 2005

This past Friday I caught a concert at Grace Church here in NYC. The first half was music from Randall Thompson and the second half was a selection of original pieces by one of the conductors, all of it a cappella. I had an epiphany halfway through the concert about the nature of singing. A group of people on stage, by way of synchronization/coordination of their breathing and bodily movements, produce vibrations - and these vibrations produce in the minds of the audience members such wondrous emotions, thoughts and imagery. It sounds rather complex when you say it that way. I'm sure that others would react with trepidation or skepticism if I claimed to have created a device which emits certain rays, and these rays can cause in humans fits of ecstasy or sorrow. Yet this curious device, commonly know as a "loudspeaker", is ubiquitous. (sidebar: sometimes it's easy to overlook the etymology of a word like "loud-speaker" even though it seems glaringly obvious). More amazing still, the act of singing couldn't be more natural. Even the birds and the crickets know the secrets of song. Anyway - fascinating stuff. Small miracles of our everyday existence..

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