An hiatus in blogging. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been inching my work along. In fact, look here, the encaustic/Plaster of Paris accordion book – almost done! (I am allowing myself the use of an exclamation mark on this one occasion, as it is an extraordinary event when I get to this stage of an artwork and still like it).
I haven’t had time to blog (brag, even) about it as I’ve been too busy singing or listening to others singing. Last Saturday was our performance of Chilcott’s A Little Jazz Mass, followed by Rutter’s Psalmfest. On Monday I was at the London Premiere of Patrick Hawes‘ Eventide.
Our performance of the Chilcott and Rutter works (Eltham Choral) was preceded by a four-hour rehearsal/workshop, then an hour’s break before the actual performance. That’s a lot of singing in one go. I loved it – I was high – on natural drugs, by the time we got to perform. It definitely helped my nerves.
I was trying to find out the names of the stuff that’s released into the body when singing. I came across a fascinating Time article. Here’s some extracts:
“The elation may come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing, which is associated with feelings of pleasure. Or it might be from oxytocin, another hormone released during singing, which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress.”
“The benefits of singing regularly seem to be cumulative. In one study, singers were found to have lower levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress. A very preliminary investigation suggesting that our heart rates may sync up during group singing could also explain why singing together sometimes feels like a guided group meditation. Study after study has found that singing relieves anxiety and contributes to quality of life.”
“Dr. Julene K. Johnson, a researcher who has focused on older singers, recently began a five year study to examine group singing as an affordable method to improve the health and well-being of older adults.”
I’m an older singer, but I can’t imagine a time when I will go to my doctor and be given a prescription (free) to sing.
The concert has come and gone. We are now rehearsing the Christmas Concert (12 December). The programme includes Handel‘s Coronation Anthems and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. Last night we had a go at several of the pieces, including Zadok the Priest. There was a whole heap of pitching going on. The air was blue with endorphins, oxytocin and in my case, curses. Yes, I became very Old Testament, singing this.
I’m certain that singing is helping me to inch along my art and writing.
Enjoy Zadok. Be patient. There are 22 bars of introductory music before the singing starts. Sing along. It begins:
“Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet annointed Solomon King …”
Now there’s the promise of a good tale, if ever I heard one.