SongRise comes to the islands

  • Oct. 24, 2003 5:00 p.m.

Submitted by the QCI Arts Council-A red-haired woman stands at the centre of a circle of men and women, listening intently. Her hands stab the air with a beat and she gestures to four or five of the figures, before singing a catchy little phrase. When they have got the groove, she moves to the next group, stepping in and out of the centre to listen, adjust, adding harmonies and off beat rhythms around the circle, until the room throbs with a rich tapestry of sound; beats and rhythms that no one has ever heard before but which have their own life and energy. Once again, twenty four strangers have metamorphosed into an animated choir creating a unique sound. When the momentum has achieved a certain intensity, individuals are invited to step forward and sing a solo over this rich base. Or just stand in the centre and absorb the sound.
This Friday, Laurel Murphy brings SongRise to Queen Charlotte. Everyone’s welcome to participate in an evening of music-making which draws on people’s untapped ability to improvise.
Ms Murphy has worked with a variety of musicians (including Jane Siberry, David Darling, Natalie Goldberg and Ruth Zaporah) and developed an approach to vocal teaching which she calls ‘Singing On The Edge’, a name which reflects her desire to encourage a willingness to take a risk. “This is definitely not therapy,” she says, “but often, the fears and limitations experienced in singing will reflect the stuck places in your life. Learning to improvise and develop the skills that allow you to express music from a more spontaneous place has incredible rewards in freedom and authenticity. And those reverberate back out into your life member….”