Shoo be do ba, a wa bam boom

19 October, 2009

When I left the UK, I knew there would be a few things I’d miss. Ireland doesn’t have a snowdome, and you can’t get sweet popcorn, and for all its musical tradition it doesn’t have a Beckford Big Sing.

Or so I thought.

Last week I went to the University of Limerick for a talk, and while I was there I went along to Aisling O’Gorman‘s new lunchtime singing workshop. Aisling is one of the Natural Voice crowd (that is, songs are taught by ear and by invisible diagrams drawn in the air instead of from sheet music) and she knows Alice from the Beckford group. Yay! Found them at last! Thanks Howell 😀

The format is similar: a warmup where you are as likely to get the giggles, followed by a few short and simple songs with many parts in order to get to the good stuff (three-part harmonies) with the minimum of hassle. The workshop is small (ten people so far), which does allow for games like making-it-up-as-you-go-along-without-being-drowned-out, but doesn’t give the full-on awesome of fifty people singin’ it like they mean it. Here’s hoping the Limerick Little Sing becomes the Limerick Large Sing in due course 😀

Sadly, due to my demonstrating duties back in Dublin I can’t make many of the sessions, so I will probably miss the delicious harmonies and rhythms of the African and Native American songs on the menu. Ah well, maybe next term…



  1. Maybe it’s the lack of instruments, or maybe it’s the standing in a circle. Either way, lunchtime singing is a slightly tribal experience. Afterwards, I get this primal urge to make things out of sticks and pointy rocks.

    Instead I have to teach object-oriented design, which if I’m honest is not a bad substitute 😉

    Shoo be do ba, a wap ba ba-do baaaaa …

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