Daily Archives: March 21, 2011

Libera…

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Date: March 21, 2011

…Also Posted on BoyChat…

…Also Posted on BoyChat…

Drol knows, I carry a good bit of baggage with me. I’ll be the first to admit it. My experiences with some things, just aren’t what I would classify as “good”…and even if they are memorable, it’s not the good kind of memory.

Religious music…

I grew up in that dry, boring, baptist church world…an atmosphere, which brought an awful lot of music with it…but, it was largely uninspired…unexciting…boring…well…an awful lot of awful…

Many memories linger in my mind…from the countless hours of my life wasted…standing up in church [with the rest of “the flock”], to sing from hymnal books…mostly songs I did not like…and in a manner, which was mind numbing…

Great music and great singing…these things do not come about, by having everyone mimic the sole piano in pitch and tone…nor from the tone deaf people, who are right next to you, bellowing in your ear.

…and the themes…the themes…(((shudder)))….

Why did we always get forced to sing about an invisible friend/creature, or dying and how supposedly great it was going to be?…[which is really what religion is ultimately about, when you cut away the fat and get to the meat]. Couldn’t they have somehow found [or even made up] a sane church hymn, for us to sing?

My memories of the Sunday morning choir, were often the most dreadfully boring of all…Every week…every…painful…wretched…week…a choir, largely made up of all the school moms, would slop into that special section of the auditorium…and when the pastor designated it time [always before the sermon], they’d sing another hymn…and I’d set there, looking at the floor…being bored, and thinking of other [better] things…Wishing I was elsewhere…

Come to think of it, I have scantly few honestly good memories of being in church…I mean, I do remember this time…when a young boy [who I thought was really, really cute] was playing with a large, fat pen…and he stuck it down the front of his belt…and then he turned towards this other boy [also, right in my own direction], with his crotch facing him, and his arms/hands opened wide…in a sort of “ta da!” pose…

…That was one of the few times, I recall getting a boner in church [Praise the Drol!].

I don’t really hate religious music…not universally…and this is one of my “dirty, little secrets”, as a non-theist…but, it is very, very low on my list of favored music…and this comes, from a music lover…

I mean…music from that time era in my life, which I so thoroughly reflect upon and love, would include artists like Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Journey, Heart, Aerosmith, Men at Work, Tina Turner, The Scorpions, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac…just this wide tapestry, of amazing talent…

I don’t think of church music…not even choir music…

Oh, I have a few good memories related to it…like the ensemble I was part of, during high school…but, that was a unique experience…one of my only, true ventures into music, which was afforded to me. An ensemble, for those unaware, is like a choir…only smaller.

If memory serves me well, a group requires 35 members in order to officially qualify as a choir…anything smaller, is an ensemble…and we did not have enough people, hence our fate…as an ensemble.

I would not classify us, or what we did, as being “great”…but, maybe a better form of mediocre, is fair.

There were a few numbers we did, which were my favorites…The most memorable being “Standing on the Rock”…This was the one, where we were allowed to get kind of “into the groove”…so much so, that our conductor cut it from the program, when we visited the more stuffy [even by “our” standards] churches. This song sticks out in my mind, because it was one that really allowed my tone and style, to latch onto something and really stand out…and it’s also a song where we had multiple groups harmonising one way, while another group harmonised another way…and I was the only one with that unique tone…not exactly “on the floor” deep, but nowhere near high…My father sometimes would tell me on the way home, of all the comments he received from people…compliments about “my” singing…I was kind of shocked that I stood out enough to be noticed apart from the rest, really.

…We even got to go on a short tour, which coincided with visiting a few colleges…and it was pretty fun, over all.

I always kind of wished that I could have segued this into something, later on in life…but, what?…Singing religious music, as part of a group?…

My voice was probably no good, by itself…especially not for most forms of music…and today, it is garbage…What once was, is gone…

So, I do have that good memory…but, I always felt like whatever musical potential I once had, was misspent and drown out in the setting of religion…The first musical instrument I ever chose to learn [completely of my own initiative], was the saxophone…That lasted about three weeks…until some of my other subjects [most of which, I’m sure I’ve entirely forgotten] started to lag…and mom forced them to withdraw me from that class, ending what could have been a lifelong, useful and beautiful talent…a decision I was not happy about, and it’s remained a memory with me, till this day…I remember so much about all of that [the instructor, some of the exercises, being pulled], even after several decades. I guess, it angered me enough, that I was denied pursuing something which I really wanted to do…

My passion for music goes back a long way…even into my boyhood…Yet, I do not associate this love, with religion, or the church. In fact, that setting mostly put a damper on my musical experience…and where I ultimately got my most satisfying musical fix, was in the secular realm.

I think this is why, whenever I’ve seen boy choirs…or even conversations about boy choirs…even here on BoyChat…I’ve just sort of avoided it…It did not interest me…

I’ve always envisioned the mediocre, or dull, performance, which I associate overwhelmingly with my own church experience.

Sure, I’ve checked out various clips online…The Vienna Boys Choir…and such…Nothing really jumped out at me, and those boys in robes…the whole setting…to me, it’s been a total turn off…

…which is strange…a boylover, not liking groups of singing boys…but, I never really encountered anything musically in that arena, where I finally “got it”…

…until two weeks ago…

You know…

…I’ve seen some of you here, rave about this group…for years upon years…

…and it’s the kind of thing I eventually started making a mental note of…and putting on the back burner, to check out on a slow day…

So, I finally went and started listening to free clips of this group, and reading the reviews [only one album, out of a bunch of them, garnered less than four and a half stars]…and people were raving…And the only negative thing I’ve found so far, is that one collection [a movie soundtrack import] had no original content, and you could find it elsewhere, less expensively.

I was not expecting what I encountered…

…This was only fractionally religious, yet substantially secular…

…This was boy choir…but it was also Enya in style…and I’m actually very fond of Enya…[another little secret, I almost never divulge, as it might tarnish my reputation as “a child of classic rock”]…

…And they largely sing in…I don’t know…Latin?…a language I don’t speak or understand…so…as long as I don’t look at the track title, I have no idea that the song might have any religious themes in it…Heck, they could be singing about anything…

I was hooked really quick…

…I mean, I didn’t even place anything on my wish list for later [not initially, but I have now]…Once I finally started paying closer attention…I was just completely floored…and those CDs were instantly sold…

I currently have three of their collections…The self titled Libera…Peace [deluxe edition], and Eternal [best of, collection]…

Some of these tracks, are the most stunning, beautiful music I have ever heard…anytime…anywhere…

I feel terrible, that this wonderful group/music has been right under my nose all these years…and at the same time, this is a new discovery to me…and it is so breathtaking wonderful…

I love my core base of music…It’s always good…but, this last decade and a half…has been a musical wasteland [with the exception of The Black Crows, and a few sparse high points]…I’ve not been this excited about anything in the musical world, in a very, very long time…

I’m rediscovering my love for music…and it’s coming from a boy choir…

Who’d have thought?…

I was once told by another BL…that I was crazy, for not liking boy choirs…

…He may have been right…[but I’m recovering, from those wayward days]…

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