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Posts Tagged ‘voice’

I’ve been putting this off, but it needs to be done. So much of what I think and feel these days is related to what’s going on in my life. And what’s going on in my life is most certainly a culmination of the events of this past year, during my silence.

Let me start by giving you a hint of where I am right now.  Do you remember 1of2, 2of2 and Tertiary Adjunct?  Whom I referred to collectively as…the Borg Collective? Well, in rereading the posts that I tagged them in, I see that I have not done justice to my connection to them. Before, I had quite a crush on 1of2 and a mild crush on 2of2. Tertiary was cute.

Well, now I can say without hesitation that all three beautiful, magnificent, wonderful children are my YFs!! First true YFs I’ve had since The Beloved, back when I was 17!

On Good Friday, 2009, I sang a church service at a different church than The Citadel. The Citadel wasn’t having music (budget reasons) so I had gone elsewhere to get some extra money. I got a lot more than that! I got a free trip to ENGLAND!!

The church I picked, I picked for much the same reason as when I first started at The Citadel. The church had a boy choir. So for three weeks I toured various cathedrals and churches all over England (and Wales) singing and living with a large group of children, including many boys age 10-14 (and older). Four in particular really worked their way into my heart.

Ruins near Canterbury Cathedral

I would love to show pictures of the kids, but for obvious reasons, I must abstain. This was taken right next to the cathedral. I never did figure out what it was originally...

A boy (who looked rather like The Beloved) of 10 who was often homesick and needing a lot of attention. He eventually started physically fighting with the other 10-year-olds. Early on, I adopted him as my sort of protégé. I helped him through losing one of his last baby teeth while on the trip. :)

A boy just shy of 13 with an amazing voice! (Shepherd) He also loved to play Frisbee and cards. I eventually learned that he once sang at The Citadel, shortly after I joined, but switched to sing closer to home.

An 11-year-old Belgian boy (Catboy) who was beautiful!! Stunning. He joined us half way through the tour. His English was not at all bad, but he didn’t have a lot of confidence with it. For his first few days, he would barely speak, but made animal sounds at people instead. (Usually, he would hiss like a cat.) At the very end, I had started to break through his shell and he would talk to me with his adorable French accent. I initially started to get his attention when I shocked him with the quality of my duck impression. ;) He was a fiend at Frisbee.

And lastly… CJ. It is hard to think about him. By the end of the trip I had really fallen in love with this boy. “Painful” does not begin to describe how I felt when the trip ended at the thought of never seeing him again… He’s really the subject of another post though, I suppose.

Well, the trip did end. And while I was depressed for a little while after, it wasn’t too long until this Intermezzo of my life ended, and the next Act began!

(I intended this to be all one big post, but it kinda feels to me like it should be two.  So, expect Part, the Second some time in the near future!)

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Sometimes I find myself daydreaming that I can talk to someone.  I can be quite articulate and eloquent in my head.  But I’m not often that way face to face.

I’m feeling depressed today.  Last night I saw and English men and boys’ choir perform at a local church.  They were pretty good.  I had some criticisms, but the lasting impression was a good one.  So I spent two hours watching and listening to a large group of cute boys with lovely voices.  One soloist in particular.  He sang the greater solo in “I waited for the Lord” by Mendelssohn, and the last verse in their encore, “Drop, drop slow tears” by Gibbons.  He had a beautiful, even, polished sound, and he was beautiful himself.  Some of the boys were probably nearly six feet tall, but I’d guess this soloist to have been no taller than 5′ if that.  (Not that height is the primary factor is beauty.)  Yet one could see he was no younger than 11.  Probably 12.

I wanted to speak to him after, but there didn’t seem to be a reception of any kind.  So I don’t even know his name.

After the concert I drove up to The King’s house to spend time with him and My Friend on the Facebook.  I wanted to talk about the concert, to talk about this boy, but when I got there I couldn’t say anything.  Even when MFotF asked, “How was the concert?” all I could say was, “good.”

Often after concerts of this sort, that is to say concerts with prominant boy performers, I crash emotionally — sometimes as soon as I walk out of the venue — and fall into this depression.  And I wonder why.  It’s the Unknowable Longing rearing its head yet again.  It’s been a while.  These concerts, and similar situations, remind me of something.  Something I want but can’t have.  Hard to have it when you can’t name it.

Sometimes this feeling is bittersweet.  I sort of savor it; the closeness to the idea behind the Unknowable Longing.  But not today.  Today it just sucks.  Hurts.  Days like today I wonder if it is worth torturing myself like this.  Maybe…  Something about the boychoir, the combination of boys and music, calls to me.  Entices me.  But I’m no closer to figuring out what that is today than when I first felt it.  So I could keep persuing it, or I could walk away and save myself the anguish.

When I put it down on paper like that the answer jumps out at me.  My idealist heart sees the choice between hard or easy and immediately chooses hard.  CAPrime would disagree, I’m sure.  Now if only I could get my Idealist Heart to do the dishes…

To change the topic, last week I was a little hot headded and over dramatic.  CAPrime and I are still speaking.  Our friendship will never be what it was at its peak, but it doesn’t need to end.  He just wanted assurances.  I thought I had given them to him, but it seems he needed more.  But he and I disagree on too many things, and CASecund believes whatever CAPrime tells him to believe.

Writing this down really does help, for some reason.  I don’t know why.

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I had high hopes and low expectations for that concert.  My expectations won.  In honesty, the boys have potential.  Comparing them against other American boy choirs, they are not too far below acceptable.  (I find it sad, the difference in skill between the average American and English boy choir.)  However the men sang no better than the boys, and often not as well.

This group has ideas to raise money to open a choir school.  I don’t think so.  Long before opening a school I would want to be able to show that the choir has something worth teaching.  First step, ditch all the men.  Hire professionals.  With a solid ATB section to support them, the boys would automatically improve greatly.  Second, start the men performing on their own so that some subset of the organization can give a nuanced and polished performance.  Then start raising money to start a choir school  You may even already have a few teachers among the gentlemen.  I also think a way is needed to inspire passion for music and singing in the boys, as American boy singers are woefully low energy.  If one selected forces in numbers like King’s College, Cambridge (16 boys, 14 men, 1 director, 1 organist) there would be a 1:1 man to boy ratio.  A mentoring/apprenticeship program could conceivably help to inspire the boys to actually start putting themselves into the music rather than just letting it happen around them.

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Shorty Shamrock

Today at The Citadel, Shorty Shamrock sang the solo in SS Wesley’s “Lead me, Lord.”  He has a great voice.  Of course I chickened out after the service and didn’t tell him what a great job he did.  It wasn’t high, (maybe d’ to a’) and he never used head voice, but he had wonderful tone production and when he made a mistake in the performance (started singing the wrong verse) he corrected himself wonderfully without drawing attention to the error.  It didn’t even seem to phase him.

In about a hour and a quarter I will be walking up to the lovely Episcopal Church at the top of the hill to attend an Evensong by a local Choir of Men and Boys.  Here’s hoping they do well.

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***Warning!***  This post contains possible spoilers for the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  If you have not seen that movie and would maybe like to, consider not reading this post.  Or read until I mark the section about the movie.  Or better yet, go rent it.  Right Now.  Or if it’s still in theaters, go see it, right now.  Then come back and read the whole post.

At choir rehearsal tonight, 20f2 and The Russian stayed for the whole two hours.  And 2of2 sat right in front of me.  God! it was nice.  He is so cute.  His face is wonderful.  Always smiling, round cheeks (but not fat), bright eyes…  He was having a good time the whole time, too.  As always, I’m happy to see boys having fun with music.  When I wasn’t singing (which was too often.  I still don’t have my voice back.  Grr.) I could hear him.  Changing his voice may be, but it is still as cute as the rest of him.

And Italino’s back!  He also sat right in front of me, one row farther forward.  He spent a lot of the night twisted in his seat letting me see his profile and his eyes.  Such dark, exquisite eyes.  I hope the looks he gave me today were not in response to the horrible sounds coming from my mouth.

***Possible Spoilers Begin NOW!  Avert your eyes!***

Before rehearsal, I went and saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  I’m not sure I can talk about it.  It was a great movie, beautiful most of the way through, but…  I saw it coming when it started building up to it, but as a whole it caught me off guard.  I think I finally found what would make me willing to kill.  The soldiers that dropped the gas into the chamber, as well as those who ordered it, oversaw it, herded them into the chamber.  How could one be party to that?  Regardless of the propaganda one has been fed all one’s life, how can one gas children to death?  Even fearing for one’s own life…  Them, I would be willing to kill.

I still wouldn’t have fought in WWII though.  Not only were most of the soldiers on the front innocent of these crimes, but the Allies didn’t even know what was going on.  I wouldn’t have known about the Holocaust until the war was over, and so wouldn’t have been willing to kill to to stop it.

Happy thoughts, eh?

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Tomorrow is the new year.  For some reason, for the first time ever, the prospect of the new year excites me.  It’s not that I have dreaded the future before, nor that I’m eager for this year to be over.  I just never before saw any significance to the changing of a number at the tob of the calendar.  Regardless of the reasons theologically and scientifically for what the number is and when it changes, from a human perspective, it’s completely arbitrary.  Dec. 31 2008 is no diferent from Jan 1 2009.  If you lived in a cave in the middle of nowhere without a calendar, you wouldn’t notice anything changing between those two days.

But this year I’m looking forward to it.  Perhaps because of all I’m planning.  Even when I was in college, I had no plan beyond being in college.  Now I’m working towards a goal.  Even if that goal changes.  I may not take myself to England soon (on a permanent basis, anyway) for the sake of the new relationships I’m hoping to form here, but I still plan to get new computer training, advance my career, and form a deep relationship with a boy.  These are good plans, and I can only do so much to fulfill them on this side of the divide, and so I’m eager for the new year.

But that’s not why I started this entry.  It’s probably better than what follows, but…shrug.

Yesterday the cute tray taker was back.  I walked by his station several times (of course) and a few times I caught the sound of his voice.

It’s lovely.  I wrote before that it was unchanged, but I was struck yesterday more strongly by its sound for some reasons.  Every time I heard it my chest got tight, and I had the urge to close my eyes and just listen.  Very musical.  I think it all the time of other people, but he sould be a singer.  Not that he has much time left unless he’s like my two friends from back home who’s voices simply never changed during puberty.

Yesterday I was offered an extra shift.  As I was folding napkins, the scheduling manager came up to look at the schedule on the wall, seeking some people to take a last ninute shift.  She asked if I could, but I couldn’t.  Actually, I could have, I just didn’t want to.  But later that night I picked up a gig that would have conflicted anyway, so it’s a good thing I said no.  $250 for this concert.  (Tomorrow)

After I told her I couldn’t do it, she mentioned that she didn’t want to just post the shift for anybody to take, since the event was for a personal friend of the owner and she wanted to pick good people to work it.

So apparently, she trusts me.  Consideres me one o fthe better servers.  I’d been starting to suspect that anyway since she schedules me so often and is unhappy when I request off, and just generally the way the management acts toward me.  But it’s nice to have it a little more confirmed.

The thing is, I don’t like this job, as I have made clear.  Not only that, but I don’t feel particularly good at it.  I’m often among the last servers to get tables clear, I wander around before and after events, not really sure of what I’m supposed to be doing.  I’m glad they think I’m good at it (and maybe I am and my standards are just higher than theirs) since I hope to get a positive work refference from them when I quit in the very near future.

I’m done.

Seeing Sissy tonight before rehearsal.

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I foolishly left my journal at home yesterday.  Well, not so much foolishly as forgetfully.  I meant to bring it, knowing I was working a double.  In actuality, though, I worked a tripple.  The AM shift had two banquets overlapping.

Anyway, The Restaurant seems to have hired a pair of children.  (I assume they are 14.)  The one is about 5’8″, red headed, changed voice, and slightly overweight.  The other, on the other hand, is 5’6″ (still tall for my usual taste), brown haired, skinny, unchanged voice, and has a very cute face.  And beautiful skin.  Quite attractive.  They were stationed by the dish washer to clear a la carte servers’ trays.

Also that day, in my second room, there was a boy probably about nine years old who looked a lot like a slightly younger version of the boy in the JCPenny’s comercials on Hulu.  (The Ice/Nice one.)  Every time I walked out of the kitchen, or carried a tray toward it, he would watch me openly.  He probably watched all the servers as they did their jobs, since the impression I got from him was one of strong curiosity.  He was very cute.  It seems to me that he was watching to see how the job worked.  Where we went, who was where, what we were bringing in/carrying out.

He’s not the first boy to watch me so closely while I waited tables.  Many weeks ago, near my beginning but after my training, there was a wedding when I had my tray stand right next to a boy I took to be around 10.  He also openly watched my every move.  I spent the whole time hoping he ‘d ask me questions.  He never did, of course.

With the dish boy in the kitchen and the JCP boy in the dining room, I noticed that I worked harder, more diligently.  I moved with greater purpose, made sure to smile, follow procedure, do everything with greater efficiency.  It’s something I’ve thought of before, and even considered writing about but never did, in part because I never had this tool –  the journal – that is so welcoming to such observations.

The observation being: boys inspire me.  I mean, really.  They have shaped me since I started noticing them.  While being a pedophile/boylover in an intollerant society has shaped me in various ways – some positive, some negative – the boys themselves have only ever been positive influences.

So many pivotal moments can be dated to when I was 13.  Christmas when I was 13 I discovered (rediscovered) my great-uncle’s colection of English men and boys choirs Christmas carol albums.  Those recordings inspired more interest in the other classical LPs in the basement.  I was drawn to them because of the boys’ voices, but in listening raptly I learned to love the music and the genre as well.  I’d always had an interest in classical music, but that’s when it became a passion.  In those other LPs I discovered Mozart, and then as my ears matured, Bach and Beethoven.

I bought from Boarders two CDs of boy music, also when I was 13 I think.  A compilation recording of Westminster Cathedral Choir and a Vienna Boys’ Choir CD featuring mostly solos by an also 13yo Max Emanuel Cencic.  The Cencic CD I loved, with its Handel, Mozart, Schubert and Strauss.  At first I didn’t like all the 20th century stuff on the Westminster CD, but again the voices inspired me to grow.  It eventually became my favorite CD.

A leadership position got me over my first hump in Boy Scouts (13 yo), but it was the boys (Candy, Orange Hat, Owl, CIA, N, Casper, Little Man, Fox, and finally The Beloved) that got me over the second, so I stayed to and beyond Eagle Scout.

Boys are the reason I joined the Citadel, and that has been an excellent post to have for many reasons.

I’m sure there are many more examples, but now I must eat, shave, change and go to work, yet again.

*I found some pages of skit scripts I wrote for skit night at music camp.  Kinda funny.  I was 14 when I wrote them, I think.  I had horrible handwriting.

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