Monday, June 14, 2010

Young at Heart

Along with my family, I watched a DVD yesterday called Young at Heart. I think it was on at the cinema two or three years ago.

It was so moving and inspiring. It was a documentary that followed this choir called "Young at Heart", who were based in Northampton, Massuchusetts, USA, as they prepared to give a concert. The choir is led by a man in his 40s or early 50s, but the choir itself is composed entirely of senior citizens, the oldest being a sprightly woman of 93. The choir director gets them to sing all sorts of modern pop and rock songs by groups like Sonic Youth, The Clash, Coldplay and The Ramones and solo artists like Dylan or Allan Toussaint.

Two choir members died within one week when the group was only two or three weeks out from giving their concert.

It was so poignant and uplifting to see how these older folk led their lives and how the choir gave them a powerful purpose and a tremendous bond to share. It reinforced what I've always felt about the power of music and the joy of singing. Humans were meant for music and music was meant for humans.

I remember in my 20s during my brief six years as a rock singer that there were quite a few times when I felt a kind of transcendence as though my body had been overtaken by something more powerful than myself. Sometimes I'd be belting out a song into the microphone and I'd feel chills down my spine. It seemed like there was this moment of primal connection between myself, the rest of my band and the audience. It's a powerful magic when that happens.

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