Is it spring yet?

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's getting warmer!!! I can feel it :)

Whoo, well how things move on! Genki practices have started up again. This is what I've been doing every weekend for the past 3 or so weeks!

I missed saturday of this past week though because I had to attend graduation at Yamada. That's right, the Seniors are gone! For me, this only means that I have a month of sitting at my desk until school starts again in early April :P

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a choir workshop. Like I mentioned before, I want to make the most out of my third year here. It's most likely my last. The workshop was with the Kochi Brighten Mass Gospel Choir.

Now, I know what your thinking...or at least what you should be thinking...Japanese people singing Gospel? Well, they do a very good job. But like with everything that is taken from a foreign culture, they'll change it to fit their own style. So things weren't done exactly as they would have been in America. That was fine. It's what I expected.

The people were extraordinarily friendly and the atmosphere was so uplifting! I loved most every minute of it. They sang all in English but really, it was the energy of the music that moved me the most. I had a great time.


This particular group of gospel singers were a bit on the crazy side. Specifically the director. It was no argument of their talent. It was just the style in which they used that talent.

The main song that we sang was "Let it be" by the Beatles. First, they had to change the song a bit to fit the gospel style. Next, to keep the choir from freaking out about the English, the teacher explained that when Elementary school kids listened to "Let it Be" and were asked what they heard, they said "Heh, leh, bah" So really, "Let it Be" was only "Heh, leh, bah" so don't worry about it. Next, she said that the "Be" in "Let it Be" was too flat and weak of a sound so she really wanted us to pronounce the "Bah" in "Heh, leh, bah" The song really wasn't English when she finished with it.

Next, she said that for "Whisper words of wisdom" she wanted us to spit out the words like they were a ball, throw the up into the air and then catch them again. So we would all puff out our cheeks and really pronounce the W in Whisper then when we'd say only wo- of words, fade out then come in again for the -ds.

WI-sper WOoo...........rdSSS ov wizdum

And that was only the chorus! During the normal versus of the song, when a soloist would sing, the choir would fill in her pauses in singing with dog barks.

I think the director was trying to get the group to say "whoosh" like air. She wanted us to puff out our cheeks like we had done with "Whisper words of wisdom". But instead of WHOoosh, it came out more like WHOooffff.

Really, you'd have to see it and hear it to understand exactly how creepy it was to watch and then sing this way. A friend who went with me agreed that it was like something you'd see in a crazy horror movie. It left us feeling quite disturbed.

I'm debating if I want to join them and practice songs like this on a regular basis...I'm thinking not. But if I can't find a better group, well, they're always better than nothing!!!

Lastly, this past Saturday, after graduation, I went to see a performance that Erinn was in. Erinn is the type of girl that no one knows because she's always practicing dance. Dance is her life. If she's not in school, she's dancing. So it was exciting to see her actually perform!

Mostly, in Kochi, she does contemporary dance. This particular performance was held in a furniture store. Only about 5o people were allowed in and they stood around while the dancers danced among them. It was a really powerful experience. I loved it!

I can't really explain the concept. Most people didn't understand it. The only thing I know for sure is that the dancers were supposed to be mannequins. The doors opened at 7:30 but the show didn't start until 8. While we were waiting around, the dancers were actually all on the floor already, sitting in various positions, and not blinking! It was very surreal. They were all truly talented.

Again, it's one of those things you have to see to really grasp. There's just no way to put it into words.

Lastly, this week I'll be hosting a cookie dough party at my apartment! My apartment is a nice size but there have been about 10 people to confirm that they'll be coming and most likely staying the night...I have no idea where I'll be putting everyone! Ack!!! But it'll sure be fun no matter what ;)

1 shared their love:

Anonymous said...

Does that choir director know what gospel music really is? She should be listening to Elvis - not the Beatles. Or any of those fabulous spirituals with the wonderful chords and harmonies and souls that you can feel all the way through. Let It Be??? Not gospel. I think I'd be nuts. Maybe she didn't realize the Beatles were British? WTH? --mom

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