Thursday, 26 September 2019

Russian 'flash mobs' and national anthems - don't forget 'The Temperance Seven'

Local music society looks at some Russian 'flash mobs' and national anthems - don't forget 'The Temperance Seven'
A recent local music appreciation session at Holmfirth U3A covered 'Russian Flashmobs' and 'Anthems'.
  The flashmobs appeared informally in car parks, high street shops and supermarkets. There were also formal choir concert excerpts and small groups who simply turned up and sang. Moscow, Siberia, Leningrad and others. There were a couple of points for me. First the audiences. The flashmob audiences were surprised and delighted and at the finish joined in. Presumably the concerts were performed to audiences, but they were heard not seen. The small groups sang to themselves with no one listening. I've experienced this in Inverie, Scotland and at the Male Choir Festival, Cornwall. Get into a circle and enjoy harmony and singing for their own sakes - people can listen if they wish but it's not mandatory.
  Second, singing in Russian. We couldn't understand, but we were an equally delighted audience. The flashmobs included acrobats and everyone was smiling and moving. Infectious. The concerts and small groups had to rely on their singing quality and choice of music. Kalinka and The Red Army Choir didn't inspire me. A girls' choir was marginally better. The small groups, all girls, went for tight harmonies and gentle music. They moved and smiled and looked at each other. I could have listened to more. It's vocalisation (clic and see Rod Williams) - music and voices and body language and an audience that wants to do the same.
  What makes a good anthem? Much of the following: large or small audiences having an inspired experience, instinctive, emotional, not planned, people with something in common - young, old, generational, country, district, oppression, triumph (I could go on) - adopted by sports and other organisations, traditional or modern music, dramatic chorus.
  So again it's the audience that confers power to an anthem. And again voices alone or with music. Not always in recognisable language. I defy anyone to be down the Arms Park, Cardiff before an international and not be moved by 90,000 singing the Welsh National Anthem.
  Examples - God Save Our/The Queen, Rule Brittania, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem.
  With apologies may I add Born in the USA (Springsteen), You'll Never Walk Alone (Gerry and the Pacemekers), My Generation (The Who).
  Is your fist pumping into the air? It's an anthem. The audience says so.


New Mill MVC are in concert at Huddersfield Town Hall with 

The Temperance Seven on 12th October



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