Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service
The last week I joined the local choir.
This does not explain my month-long silence on the blog, which is due to a dissertation, a conference, an impromptu trip, another conference, more dissertationing (it's a verb now), and various houseguests.
But as I was saying, last week I joined the Anstruther Philharmonic Society. Miguel is quite happy about this, as it gets me out of the house and socializing a bit. Getting to know people is easy when you have a workplace or get to go out on a regular basis. When you're at home writing a dissertation, excursions are limited to weekly shops up at the Co-op, during which time you natter the ear off of the poor cashier and the whole store is glad to see the back of you, so it's a little bit more difficult to get to know people.
So, I joined a choir.
I didn't really know what to expect. Philharmonic Society sounds quite impressive, but the East Neuk isn't exactly a booming metropolis. Well, cast all assumptions aside. We have quite the choir.
When I arrived at the hall, Jane MacDonald welcomed me (with this accent, I do stand out a bit), organized with the librarian for my books, introduced me to a few sopranos (of the non-New Jersey variety). "Why don't you try soprano this week, and you can always change next week," Jane suggested. Sure. After all, I sang soprano back in Children's Choir. Of course, that was before I hit puberty. Still, what could possibly go wrong?
The poor ladies I was standing beside had to suffer through my screeching in vain search of a note. I didn't remember notes being that high. By the end of practice I sounded like I had laryngitis. I was pretty singing didn't used to hurt this much.
Okay then, plan b. This week, I sat in with altos. I hid in the back, hoping that I could pick up the tune without being too noticeably off-key.
I was not the only alto with this plan.
As we reached a part of Hummel's Mass in Eb we hadn't rehearsed before, I began to cheat off of my neighbours, pitching up and down to find whatever note we were on now. I soon noticed, however, that my neighbours in the back row had the same plan.
There we were, pitching up and down, giving our best impression of a cat in heat as we strove bravely on through a sea of syncopated rhythms, randoms naturals, and endless runs. Needless to say, I dug my flute out today and began practicing in earnest.
But on the meeting people end, choir is a success. I met a woman who had not only visited my hometown, but her husband's family had spent time there in the 1880s. I met another two women who live close by and kindly shared their reasons as to why double glazing is a terrible idea. As I left the rehearsal last night, a kind gentleman held the door open and said "after you, Lady Mary" (re: Downton Abbey).
Honestly, there's no better way to spend a Tuesday night in the East Neuk.