Wow! What an Experience!
Went to St Peter in Chains Cathedral on Thursday, the first time I’ve been to one of their Great Music in a Great Space events. The concert was with Tenebrae, an a cappella English Chamber Choir.
It is indeed a great space, great acoustics, and this is a great choir. The program included Tantum Ergo in plainsong, a Mass by Francis Poulenc, and medieval songs inspired by the Santiago de Compostella Pilgrimage through France and Spain. It was the Pilgrimage that inspired me – I’ve been tempted by it for so long.
But I wasn’t exactly listening. More like sitting with my eyes closed vibrating. Most of the cathedral lights were turned off, and during the second half, the singers wandered the cathedral, so music came from every direction. And there I sat, sort of hearing it, but mostly feeling every note. I’ve never had such an experience before. Floating somewhere near the top of the cathedral, while still sitting in that uncomfortable pew, and distinctly feeling those notes physically. My body was humming. I can still distantly feel that hum.
Folk were blown away by the concert, standing ovations, encores and all. We all had a great experience – though I expect mine was distinctly different than the norm. I’m definitely going to download their CD and see what happens. And if they ever return to the Cathedral or any other space around here – you’ll see me there!