This past weekend my choir, Dunava, spent recording a few songs for a potential CD or at least a really good demo.
We went by ferry to an island in Puget Sound to a studio in a private home. Our gracious hosts had set up everything for us, so when we walked in the door all we had to do was warm up and SING!
We planned to record five songs:
Polegala Trava Detela (Croatian)
Trgnala e Vakla Zelka (Bulgarian)
Jos Ne Svice (Croatian)
Dobri Denek (Croatian)
Ogrjala Mesecinka (Bulgarian)
And we threw in an old favorite, the Bulgarian Dilmano Dilbero, just for fun.
At the end of the afternoon, we travelled by ferry to Vashon Island to stay overnight at Angels of the Sea, a lovely bed-and-breakfast in a converted church. We had potlucked lunch (vegetable sandwiches on focaccia, 7-layer dip, plenty of crunchy vegetables, and brownies). We also potlucked dinner -- sesame cold noodles with chicken, potato knishes, sauteed greens, salad with organic lettuces and goat cheese. This choir clearly travels on it's stomachs!
We opened a bottle of red wine while relaxing, then toasted ourselves with champagne and sparkling juice before sitting down to a festive meal.
While some of us were cooking, others were dancing all over the B&B. Plus we spontaneously burst into singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Somehow, despite our 20 year age range, all of us knew all the words to this pop hit from the 1980's.
While digesting we listened to some potential songs to learn for the future. I shared a recording made at Camp Tel Yehudah in 1976 of me and my camp friends singing Haben Yakir Li (My Precious Son), in an arrangement by Malavsky originally created for a high school choir. I would love for Dunava to sing some Jewish music, and this has always been a personal favorite. So I found an Israeli company that has published it and wrote to order my very own copy! I also found a video on youtube of Israeli Cantor Udi Szpilman and his small men's choir performing a somewhat jazzoid version. You can see them here. The video is four and a half minutes long, so prepare to download.
Then we ate mango pudding for dessert and waddled downstairs to watch a video together.
We woke up to a fabulous breakfast of waffles, yogurt and fresh fruit prepared by our hostess, Marnie Jones, who also treated us to a harp concert. We returned the favor and sang to her. I think she enjoyed it!
No matter what use we make of the songs we recorded, it was a wonderful educational opportunity to learn something new (about how to record), to listen critically to ourselves and figure out how we can improve, and to enjoy one another's company without the pressures of work, spouses, children, pets, etc. What a terrific weekend!