Bairbre Lloyd talks about that perfect performance moment and why we keep singing.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I’ve experienced it, but deep down, it’s probably the ultimate reason I keep singing in dozens of concerts and turning up for hundreds of choir rehearsals.
Singing in a choir is fun. An hour or two’s workout of the lungs and vocal chords gets the endorphins buzzing round your system. It’s good to spend time with a group of friends all engaged in a common purpose. And it’s emotionally satisfying, if you love the music you are singing. Even better is performing in front of an appreciative audience, who are letting you know how much they’ve enjoyed it.
But very occasionally something happens in performance which is unforgettable. Like a divining rod or a radio signal, the conductor tunes into something magical which captures the soul of each and every performer. As the atmosphere shifts, each person’s thoughts and ideas take a back seat and they become solely a channel of the conductor’s will. The choir locks on to every gesture, every facial expression, as if each individual singer has been melded into one giant instrument.
To be part of that sublimation, to let go, be completely in the moment and at one with your fellow musicians is an incredible experience. And when the audience gets caught up in the music, the whole room seems to vibrate with an energy unlike anything else.
So while every concert is a special experience, always involving anticipation and maybe even nerves – there is always the possibility of a transcendent experience...