09 January 2007

A Truly Cosmopolitan Gathering

In the summer of 2002 my life changed, musically-speaking. I attended a one-day workshop in West Hartford, CT run by Philip Cave and a few members of his early music ensemble, Magnificat. It was a full day of singing polyphony. I knew I had always been interested in early music, but never realized how fulfilling it was to me as a performer until I had been immersed in it so intensely. I was hooked. Since then I have attended a few workshops in England and France, indulging my passion and, I suppose, learning a little something more about polyphony at the same time.

Along the way I have been fortunate to meet people as enthusiastic about singing polyphony as I am. I have tried keeping up with some of these people, hoping that some day we might find ourselves with an opportunity to reunite. Luckily my stay in Belgium has made this kind of meeting more possible. I had been in touch with G, a good friend from my Tallis Scholars workshop years, and we decided to make something happen. He gathered the music, I secured the space, we both touched base with friends, and--viola!--on December 29 we had a sing! And it was a "truly cosmopolitan gathering" including:
  • Me, an American living in Leuven
  • G, a Canadian living in England
  • K, sister of G, married to a Belgian, and living in Germany
  • S, the Belgian living in Germany
  • D, my friend from Kortrijk
  • S, my friend from Brugge

We braved freezing cold temps and an array of dialects and accents to sing some beautiful music. And we sang it damn well, if I do say so myself! I was so jazzed after the evening that I have decided to turn our little ensemble into a small performing project. It's possible that we may be able to gather again in April to do a small concert at the American College Seminary here in Leuven.

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