XXV Laulupidu

We’re a theater of words and music.

XXV Laulupidu [By ToBreatheAsOne (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

XXV Laulupidu, the Estonian song celebration: 30,000 singers, 80,000 listeners! There are only 15 of us.

Every season the Art Mob presents a program of around 22 songs, a cappella and “hands-free,” meaning we memorize the words and music for all the pieces. WHY do we do it? It’s hard work, and sometimes we need a pep talk to fortify us for the task. Connie, our Assistant Music Director and Sous-Chef, delivered this one to us just the other week:

“I know that many groups do not think it is a big deal to be “on book “— that the music is the most important thing. With large choruses and orchestras, I reluctantly agree.

However, the experience of the Art Mob audience is, to me, closer to that of theater because the content (the words, the stories they tell, even those silly ones like “Ragtime Goblin Man”) is really important, and it is more effective if it is internalized within us before being sent out to the audience. (Imagine if you came to see a play and everyone had little books they very skillfully scattered around the stage and to which they would refer.)

It is not so much that the stories themselves are such high-quality poetry (with the exception, maybe, of Poe and one or two of the shape-note authors) but precisely *because* they are prosaic, and we turn them into something that makes “prosaicness” very human and profound. That is the special quality of Art Mob.”

Here are short bits of Victoriana, Tin Pan Alley, and more. Give a listen.

Art Mob Aural Snippet 1 Art Mob Aural Snippet 2 Art Mob Aural Snippet 3 Art Mob Aural Snippet 4

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