Alex Canovas / Artistic Director

Michael’s Musings: March

Choral Archaeology or Why We Travel

The last time YNYC traveled together was to perform at the ACDA conference in Chicago in 2011, and it was a riotously good time. Tomorrow, YNYC will depart for its first official concert tour. I’m looking for the words to synthesize the innumerable aspects of performance touring that make it so magical. The words are not coming because like all great magic, it defies explanation. My musing of the subject does find me lingering on one word- archaeoacoustics.

Archaeoacoustics combines archaeological and acoustical sciences to discover and recreate the auditory experiences of listeners at ancient sites. Many of these sites exhibit unusual acoustics that have persisted to the present. Much of our touring repertoire is from the earliest days of our nation, and it will be satisfying to perform it in cities that are emblematic of those times. It is acoustic archeology, YNYC style. Our voices will join with the echoes of the past, and these vibrations will sing with the collective buzz of humanity.

The effort required to embark on a tour can be demanding and exhausting, but the resulting experience is joyful and energizing. The sacrifices made by each individual singer actually create the conditions of a gratifying collaborative experience; one minute of rehearsal has the gravity of hours at home, casual meetings with fellow performers become purposeful and close, and the very act of performing feels as new as the faces in the audience.

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