Singing in Harmony

Blog post by Laura Febbrari, Culture Club Officer

This festive month, the Belles were joined by the talented singer and vocal leader Phoebe Osborne, to learn some midwinter harmony songs.

     

It’s important to do a vocal warm up before singing to prevent injury to the vocal chords, so we began with scales and humming. Other warm up techniques included running the tongue over the surface of the teeth in a figure of 8, to relax the muscles at the base of the throat, and massaging our necks and temples, as these are places the body can hold tension without us even realising!

The first song we sang was called OO la la ley. The lyrics are as follows:

OO la la ley

Another evening fades away

I know the winter sun won’t disappear for long

Because tomorrow is another day

We divided into groups and layered the song by singing in rounds and 3 part harmonies. Phoebe explained that vocal pitch tends to drop low with acappella singing, so she kept the Belles in tune with a pitch pipe.

The next song was called Swan Song. The lyrics are as follows:

As the swan sings

Do do do do

Although the lyrics to this song are very short, once again we sang it in rounds and 3 part harmonies, and the effect was very lovely.

The third song we sang was called Heaven in my Heart, written by Nick Prater. The lyrics go:

I’m gonna find footprints in the snow

I’m gonna find glitter everywhere

This time round, the Belles also had a go at song writing. We added the following lyrics:

I’m gonna eat turkey until New Year

I’m gonna eat tofu until New Year (for the vegetarians!)

I’m gonna find tinsel in my hair

I’m gonna find holly with the ivy

The final song for the evening was called All is Calm, written by Ali Burns. Once again we divided into rounds and harmonies. The lyrics are as follows:

All is calm, and cold

White frost, curtains the branches

Over everything, there is longing

Over all, there is light

This was quite a haunting song, but very beautiful.

Further information on Phoebe’s music and workshops can be found at https://phoebemartha.com/about/

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