Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Music from my old church choir, circa 2001: two mikes, ten singers (all untrained), led by a jazz musician who had never directed a choir before, and without a penny for good sound equipment. We recorded these songs a cappella, in somebody's living room, interrupted by doorbells, phones ringing and dogs barking, not to mention the occasional giggle fit. The result wasn't perfect, but I think we sound pretty darned good for a group which started out with very limited skills. The songs Bill Prouten arranged and composed sound strange, because most of them are dissonant, with very tight chords, and do unexpected things (listen to the end of Coventry Carol!). Often he'd come to choir practice with a sheaf of handwritten music, the ink still fresh on it like something out of Amadeus, and we'd work all evening trying to master it. He made us better singers and better musicians than we knew how to be, or ever thought we could be. Bill Prouten was a major influence in my life for five years, and what he left me with is permanent. It's only now I can bear to listen to this, and why, I do not know! My dub onto YouTube added an extra problematic level of sound reproduction due to the crappyness of my sound equipment, but it's better than not having the songs at all. I chose the cover because from the back, that might be Bill himself.