Bird-song! To be more precise, the dawn chorus… It’s lovely, living in the city centre, and hearing so much bird-song at the moment. Spring is well and truly here, and summer is on the way. It seems like no time since the tail end of winter flicked back and forth with chill wind and rain, interspersed with bright days, and now here we are, June is just around the corner!
I watched an item on Countryfile at the weekend about the dawn chorus, and although it was after 7 in the evening, I had to put my tv on mute for a moment to work out the difference between their dawn chorus recordings, and all the evening chorus of bird-song in my own garden. I can tell you, the latter was winning hands down!
I hear lots of birds in my garden, it’s a big communal space, and usually see them too, especially now we’ve had a few branches lopped. But there are always blue-tits perched precariously on my garden wall pecking at the rendering, a robin that bobs around in winter, fat wood-pigeons, the infamous blackbird, squabbling crows and magpies (who was mobbing who?) and occasionally, late spring and early winter, the hoot of a single owl. I’ve even been lucky enough to spot wrens, who nest in the ivy-clad garden wall.
I have to remind myself how lucky I am to hear this… but am often reluctant to do so! Like this morning, when the local blackbird decided to wake me at precisely 4.37am, but then coming in to work, learn that my colleague has now discovered the down-side of her lovely new home ~ the all-night chorus of the gulls in Leith and surrounding areas. Yep, that’s me happy with that lovely blackbird now.
But there’s other singing going on too. Last night it dawned on me that I had made one of the best decisions of my life by joining our wonderful wonderful choir. First of all, there’s where we do it: the fabulous Usher Hall!
We sit on the stage in the choir stalls and look out across the 100-year old auditorium. And then there’s the sound we make. Last night, up the back of the choir-stalls, I had goosebumps and a prickle of tears, just from one verse of Amazing Grace, or was it Ode to Joy? Three hundred people singing in harmony – sopranos, altos, basses and my own tenors. eeek but it’s a magnificent sound! Specially as we are a bunch of undisciplined amateurs who mostly can’t read music, and don’t take anything much very seriously at all! Festival Chorus we are not, Edinburgh Royal Choral Union we are not, but what joy to be had from this!
Love Music Community Choir, I love being part of you!
And some exciting (but currently top-secret) gigs later on next month! Just watch this space!