Making Music Together
April 7, 2020
Small towns have their own challenges during these difficult times. Our town of 50 has dutifully remained in lockdown since the early days of March, although there has been a steady arrival of customers for Colleen’s take-out lasagna and necessities at the Blackfoot Store. Always 6 feet apart of course. Trixi’s Antler Saloon has worked out a system where folks can call in orders and indicate the time they will come. When they arrive, their food is put out on a picnic table with a box where they can deposit cash.
We want our few businesses to survive! They mean a lot to us and make our community what it is. Soon, residents who winter in warmer climes will return and we look forward to that. Nevertheless, the arrival of people from various places can put us at risk, so our town herald (Kathy Schoendoerfer) put out this message:
A plea to the Ovando and surrounding Communities
from the Health Departments of Montana and your fellow residents.
Let's do this folks, because we can!
Our biggest fear of a partial shut down or full closure of the Blackfoot Commercial Company, Trixi's or the Stray Bullet should those folks get exposed, is easily remedied with these simple rules of engagement. Same goes for those essential businesses surrounding us.
And we all Thank you!
We will all carry different impressions of this time, but the one that will stay with me the most is this rare sense of social intimacy that has come with social distancing!
Never before have we been able to share a common experience with people around the globe, all from their living rooms, balconies or front doors! I am moved by the sight of people in small towns and city neighborhoods joining together to applaud their tired first responders returning home from their shifts. It is as if we are all discovering who we really are and what we care about.
In Becca Nolan-Olsen's neighborhood in California, "neighbors are putting teddy bears and rainbows in their windows for little kids to walk around and look for as a distraction from the current situation."
There are so many creative ways that people have found to cheer their other home-bound neighbors, near and far. Often it is through that universal language, music! Here is a favorite of mine from France, as members of l'Orchestre National de France perform together from their homes. Quite a feat! Notice that the kettle drum player has to improvise with ladle and spoon! Ravel would be smiling.
(Watch the video full screen by clicking here. Or click on the image below.)
This was followed by an even more amazing feat: The 2011 Virtual Choir video features 2052 performances of 'Sleep' from 1752 singers in 58 countries, individually recorded and uploaded to YouTube between September 2010 and January 2011. The special effects in this video really bring home the global nature of the event. (Click here to watch full screen.)
Even before hearing of Eric Whitacre, Tiffany Goodrick of San Diego put together a virtual performance of the spiritual “Down to the River” with her 36 singers. “The 36 voices you hear were all recorded separately at different times and in different locations. Each woman had only the melody playing in her ear and then sang the part that she wanted, no music was written out. All videos were recorded using cell phones.”
Now, with school closures during the pandemic, Spring Concerts have been canceled and some high school choir directors are turning to virtual performances so their music can still be performed.
For those of you who missed March Madness and the NBA games, here is a slight variation on March Madness, which you might enjoy!
Lastly, I’ve forgotten to mention that this blog sits on my website, which is a “curated collection” (i.e. my favorites) of videos on a variety of subjects; audio of lectures, poetry and even some complete works of literature; comedy favorites and old radio shows. You can click on links at the top of this page or go to the main page here and scroll down to enter: Sheri Ritchlin's Indranet