In a contemporary society of push-button gratification and instant electric connections, I have found myself in need of a little reconciliation with the machine. How about you? It seems like every time we turn around, there is a new gadget or device or tablet out there that swears up and down it will make our life easier: our time more efficient, our work more streamlined or our social lives more in-touch. All of this begs an important question for me though: what about the silence and the privacy; the space between our moments of connection? What comes out of that and why does it seem to be losing its importance as a profound piece of life's gigantic puzzle? Although of late I have become fascinated with the "language" of the computer world, I just can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of a world that is becoming more and more starved for real, substantial human-to-human relationships. I am concerned about our need to avoid talking or looking at each other in the eye and the tendency to replace personal contact with an email, wall post or an instant message. Since I am a musician, I look for ways to explore these topics in music. I wanted to experience what happens when a composer reconciles two things that seem to be complete opposites: electronically generated sounds and a musical sound-form that requires human-to-human interaction. The result was the idea for "The Choir...Electric!"
The title of the concert, a play on Whitman's epic "I Sing the Body Electric", is purposeful. It Whitman's poem, he makes a heartfelt ode to the body saying "I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women; nor the likes of the parts of you. I believe the likes of you are to stand and fall eith the likes of the soul and that they are the soul." There is little that I can claim to believe more fervently than that. And here we are. Standing together in the most electric of musical environments, preserving the likes of the soul. We are young and old, seasoned choral aficionados and first-time concert-goers, musicians and their listeners alike. By the sheer virtue of being here, we all econcile either one of the elements of this concert with the other. If we are avid choral music listeners, we make space in our minds for a new and interesting environment in which to experience a sound we already love. If we are lovers of rock, pop, and electronica, we are here to experience the utter magic of what choral singing can do to dilate our senses and deepen our appreciation for these forms even more; beyond entertainment and into a realm of function that can literally change the course of history. No matter what side of the coin we are on, we win. This is so much more than a concert given by a chamber choir. Frankly, it's a social movement!
In the words of the imcomparable India.Arie: "I can help you with the brand new technology. You can help me with the age-old philosophy.