Music is a universal cultural connector. Vibrations move through the air. Our minds, bodies, and hearts are moved, literally and figuratively, by resonance and rhythm. In my opinion, music that is emergent or improvised in the moment allows us to listen for and sing what wants to be sung, whether from our individual heart, or from the collective heart. This experience in a group is can be a most delicious and joyful event of connection and openness to the present moment. In troubling times, especially, these moments become precious and valuable in our lives. Below are some offerings I share in support of those moments.
-an improvisational chorus
- an experience of collective attunement and joy
- an opportunity to learn about rhythm, harmony, and other musical connections
- a form of musical play and exploration
-an emergent and ephemeral musical experience.
In Circlesinging, the song leader is surrounded by a circle of singers, and leads music that is made up in the moment, offering parts to the group one by one, to form rhythmic, interlocking, and harmonic connections shared by the collective. Not all singers need to be highly skilled, yet the collective experience is one of a shared musical journey of depth and quality. The openness to what emerges is part of the journey as well. Soloists may come into the center to sing as the circle holds them.
It’s rarely “perfect," musically. It’s often inspiring, though -- joyful, exploratory, and connecting. Circlesinging events are great ways to foster a sense of belonging, exuberance, and exploration in any group.
Besides Circlesinging, there are other forms, games, and practices to guide groups in the exploration of sound and song. Utilizing a variety of vocal improv practices, including Rhiannon’s Vocal River Exercises, small to medium size groups can explore sonic spaces and relationships in a supportive and exploratory atmosphere.