#WATWB We Are the World Blogfest Third Anniversary Post on March 2020 – Not So New Choir

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Cover of Eric Whitacre’s album ‘Light & Gold’.  Picture source: youtube.

It hardly seems a month since we were last here with a We Are The World #WATWB Blogfest post.   Our co-hosts this month are…..

Sylvia McGrath,
Damyanti Biswas,
Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

They would love for you to hop on over to their pages.  Actually we would all love you to hope over to their pages and other pages on the #WATWB as well! Especially because this is our Third Anniversary!

We live in dark times.  Hiding in our bunkers, we are trying to slow the spread of the dreaded corona virus, aka COVID-19, while specialists work hard on a vaccine. It requires a team effort of being together while apart.  What a paradox!  Debates flow as chatter disputes whether it is social distance or physical distance that we are really calling for.  At #WATWB we live from physical distance but are highly connected socially.  Some of us have been swapping posts for years!

What I share this time is not really new.  It isn’t really a news story – in the news agency or network sense – but it, I think, a great story.  It is a story about creativity, about linking people from all over the world while they remain where they are. It is about bringing many voices together into a harmony of one voice.

I’m talking about Eric Whitacre and his Virtual Choir.  Whitacre was born in Reno, Nevada (USA) in 1970.  His journey with music began with the piano.

But, to hear more about the Virtual Choir, I’ll let Eric’s website fill us in.

Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronised and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir.

It began in 2009 as a simple experiment in social media when one young woman – a fan of Eric’s music – recorded a video of herself singing “Sleep” and shared it on YouTube.  Moved by the video, Eric responded by sending a call out to his online fans to purchase Polyphony’s recording, record themselves singing along to it, and upload the result. Eric was so impressed by the result that he decided to push the concept to the next level by recording himself conducting ‘Lux Aurumque’, asking Virtual Choir members to sing along to that and the first Virtual Choir was created. The VC has grown from 185 singers in VC1 to more than 8,000 singers, aged 4-87, from 120 countries in VC5.

You can read more about it here. What a great way to bring voices together even for people who are physically far from each other.

STOP PRESS: Susan Cain has found the Colorado Symphony Orchestra doing something very similar. Oh joy! Pun intended.

And also the Couch Choir  Cheers!

Instead of a poem this time I’ll leave you with a Bill Staines song “Place in the Choir”.  This version is from Celtic Thunder.


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On the Prospect of Not Celebrating Easter this Year

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On the Prospect of Not Celebrating Easter this Year

Will Christ not rise again

This year

For us?

 

Is he in fact

Still

Dying among us?

In those succumbed

To COVID-19.

 

Or is he

Still

Dead?

Is he in the tomb

With us?

Quarantined from life

Before rising

Infected and decaying

With the virulence

Of toxins?

Of needy-greedy panic

Grabs at shopping shelves?

As panicked voices

Constantly ask questions

What about this?

Or that?

What now?

What now indeed.

 

Will there be no people

As the body of Christ

Holding their candles

Light in the Lord?

Signs that Christ

Has risen

And shines

In us and

Among us?

 

Or are we consigned

To private piety,

In our own place,

So foreign

To genuine faith

That seeks to hold us together

As parts of the body

Of the Risen Lord?

What of this distant,

Isolated,

Seclusion?

Dying alone

In the dark

And waiting

In the tomb?

 

When will we rise?

When shall we hear?

Magdalene’s cry:

“I have seen

The Lord!

And heard his voice!

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 21 March 2020

 


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#WATWB February 2020 A Fridge for Firies!

Welcome to #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest for February-ish 2020.  Our co-hosts this month are:

Sylvia McGrath,
Peter Nena,
Shilpa Garg,
Eric Lahti,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.

Please hop on over to check out their pages and any others with the #WATWB.

I’m late! And… I can’t blame the short month.  Meanwhile, did you….

hear about a fridge for firies?

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Sourced from The Canberra Times – National Museum of Australia curator Craig Middleton, left, inspects the Bungendore roadside fridge with owners Scott and Claire Hooper. The fridge has been donated to the national collection. Picture: George Serras, National Museum of Australia.

The Canberra times reports it was the fridge by the roadside that stood as a symbol of community spirit through a harsh, dry summer, harbouring icy poles, drinks and snacks for the firefighters trekking back and forth along the Kings Highway.

At first, Claire Hooper was not convinced at the idea of her husband to put a fridge out the front of their house.  It was intended for refreshing passing fire fighters.  Scott convinced her and the adventure began as the Canberra Times continues the story.

Firefighters left memorabilia – helmets, masks and brigade badges – with the Hooper family, thanking them. People kept coming from far and wide came to keep the fridge full.

“The New Zealand guys were here – they were here for a seven-day stretch – and they stopped in to say thank you.

“We’re trying to take photos of them, and they’re making us stand next to the fridge; they’re trying to take photos of us. And we were like, ‘Guys, no. Come on’,” Mrs Hooper said. “It’s just been unreal.”

For many weeks fires raged across Australia.  Much of our forests in the Eastern States were destroyed.  Smoky haze covered our cities and towns.  Some folk on the South Coast were evacuated and returned to their homes multiple times. In the midst of all the horror local stories emerged. It is truly wonderful to be able to tell this local one.

A local radio station MIX 106.3 even organised a convoy to celebrate the fridge and the Coopers generosity in donating it.

It truly is a sight to see people doing such down-to-earth things to make a difference in dark times.  Cheers to all who contributed!

 

 

 

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