Dichotomy is an intriguing subject to me. Two pieces of a puzzle that fit together nicely, even though they are opposite, is a good example. But if we look closely, we can see them everywhere. It’s a part of life which we try to fight sometimes. Every situation or every other human being doesn’t always adjust to suit us. I know. That was brilliant, wasn’t it? We all knew that, but we fight it anyway. That being said, let’s apply the word to the subject of singing…..and SoCo Women’s Chorus. (You were wondering when I was going to cut to the chase, right?)
When I first held auditions, I was looking for voices. That’s a given. But what I got was this amazing garden of personalities……all different (just like other groups of humans) but with one commonality: singing. I wasn’t really paying attention to the dichotomies at the time, but looking back (and to the present), we have the singers who are singing in a chorus for the first time versus the seasoned performers. Amongst the seasoned, we have those who are classically trained versus those who are self~taught stage performers. Among the stage performers, we have country or folk singers versus jazz or pop.
All these voices have come together to create the sound of SoCo Women’s Chorus! It amazes me every day!
I try to create a certain type of dichotomy, one could say, with the music I select. Fast versus slow, Renaissance versus Broadway, English versus a different language, fun songs and songs with a message, songs in 3/4, 10/8, 2/2……challenging and not-so challenging to the singer (AND to the audience!).
Let’s talk about the audience. There is a dichotomy there, as well! The challenge I present to the audience is to hear more than what hits the ears. Does that make sense? I have always said that I am not everybody’s “cuppa” [tea]. And I would submit to you, the listener, that the music isn’t either. There are reasons I choose the music I choose…….for dichotomy’s sake, surely, but for the challenge of it all, to fit the theme, of course, for entertainment purposes but also to experience something different. And the “burden” and task charged to the audience is to open their minds to experience all of it. They’re paying $20 for that experience. I say get the most out of it you can!
What IF a song isn’t pleasing to hear? Did it strike a chord with your heartstrings? Did it ‘hurt your ears’ because of the dissonance? Was the language not interesting to you? These are all questions to address with another question, “Why?”. Just as the chorus should be open to a new experience, I like to challenge the audience to be open, as well.
Dichotomies can be frustrating. But the better part of that is ~ in my opinion ~ dichotomies are not black & white (as in the Yin/Yang above); there are ~ in my opinion again (it’s a blog, people!) ~ dichotomies within other dichotomies; dichotomies need love, too!