a building made for the human voice and how the human voice moves within a body


last week at the end of a class discussion with our professor
about the psalters of the 16th century in england
a classmate mentioned that the tallis scholars would be
performing some arvo part and gregori at christ church
the following night...i literally almost jumped out of my chair,
and i basically shouted "WHAT?!!!!"
i think i may have surprised my very sophisticated professor
with my response...oh well. i think it's quite well known by now
that i get excited about certain things.

so i quickly went and bought my ticket and began counting down the hours.
those of you who have been graciously following my blog know
how obsessed i am with arvo part. i, unfortunately, have never been
in the right place at the right time to hear his music performed live.
so i seriously wanted to cry with joy when i heard that i could sit
in christ church (founded 1525...have to mention that my college was founded 100 years earlier) and listen to my favorite composer performed live.
(and should probably mention that some of harry potter was filmed here).

have you ever been to a vocal performance in a cathedral?
it's the most powerful and real bodily experience i've ever had.
one of the member's of the tallis scholars seems to have perfect pitch
and starts the group out with a single note...i think that may have been
one of my favorite parts: just to have one note pierce my entire body. amazing.

they sang a few magnificats, including arvo part's, during the first half.
the second half was a series of misereres, beginning with gregori allegri's.
for gregori's they positioned the singers at different places in the cathedral.
this was a magic i have never experienced before.

i play this night over and over and over in my head.
i loved walking out of the doors to twilight,
christ church all lit up and beautiful songs in my entire body.

this might possibly be my most beloved experience of my entire summer here in oxford.


Anita said...

Oh I can only imagine how wonderful that had to have been! So glad you got to experience it.

Ashley Sisk said...

Beautiful...just beautiful.

ALFIE said...

gasp. sigh.


Dianne said...

Dear Ann, I am very grateful for this experience for you. It's good to read your feelings and responses to spiritual music.

Elizabeth said...

I love this Blog, and also am a keen listener of Arvo Part: ) He is so deeply moving ad mystical at once, not something so common to flow in our culture. I am really glad I have found your blog and your obvious joy at being in England and studying what appears to be such an interesting course. I am in Ireland and have never had a real chance to tour England for now I will check out your blog to feed that yearning. x Elizabeth

Irene said...

If I would be in Oxford for 6 weeks I would attend as much Evensongs as possible. Always a kind of 'divine' experience.

I admit that is a bit peculiar to attend so many cathedrals during my vacation without being a religious person :-)

Wonderful phto's!