Until early 2021, I am gifting to conductors – in PDF format – fifty of my choral works exemplified in the two videos below. This is part of my 4C Project: Choirs and Conductors Combating Covid-19 which also focuses on two very safe Canadian and US Rehearsal/Audience and Singer’s masks for use or fundraising.
Why the combination of the two– masks and music? To answer, first the mask:
I am intensely interested in face mask physics as I was trained as a biologist and worked in the field briefly before taking the plunge into music generally, and composition, conducting, performing (organ) and education specifically. Biology has a great deal to do with physics, whether it is water flowing ‘uphill’ from the ground to the top of a tree or the evolution of the enclosed air layer in an egg that physically cushions its delicate contents when it falls from a hen’s hind end– to name just two of thousands of examples in the biological world.
Likewise, the construction of a safe mask has much to do with physics, which drew me to a two-month investigation of mask safety in general, and two specific mask types in particular. The first is the recent SING-SAFE Singer’s Mask created by Dr. Kym Scott, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor at West Virginia University School of Music. This mask was tested at every step of its evolution – particularly for fit and filtration efficiency – by researchers in the university’s Center for Inhalation Toxicology.
The second mask, the ‘Solid Colours Canadian Toggle’ is a Canadian product which has more than kept up with recent recommendations for safe mask construction. I like to think of this colorful mask collection as Rehearsal & Audience masks. The ‘Solid Colours Canadian Toggle’ masks recently jumped up from 300 threads per inch – very common in off-the-shelf-masks – to 600, just about doubling mask efficiency. The patent-pending ‘toggle’ holding the four braided adjustment strings for each of the mask’s four quadrants, ensures excellent all-around fit.
Also downloadable are four posters designed specifically for The 4C project by my colleague and me. These ARE both ‘different’ and persuasive, as they present the pandemic from the Covid-19 virus’ point of view. I find myself always washing my hands, as the sight of a mere piece of soap conjures up this scary image! As for parties– not right now, thanks!
At one point during the past summer, I introduced the two mask inventors to each other, and Canadian Toggle met Safe-Sing! Their creators, like their masks, were obviously a good ‘fit’ and the US-designed mask is now also being manufactured in Canada by the makers of the ‘Solid Colours Canadian Toggle’. All this and much more, including information on mask testing, may be found at https://madmimi.com/p/6767411/preview.
Where does music fit into all of this? Simple, really– it is a gift in appreciation of the choral community that has given me – and so many – so much. This community has been, to a large extent, devoid not only of music but funds to purchase it. There are fifty totally gratis works from the A Tempo Music Index (a catalog without prices) which may be downloaded immediately and performed at any time. These include the entire World Music Suite Three (except for two published by Cypress Choral Music), also a setting of Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – dedicated in particular to those who did not survive Covid-19. Also included is a vibrant concert opener Tsimshian Welcome Chant (SATB, SSA & TTBB) from the Tsimshian First Nations of Canada’s Northern British Columbia and USA’s Southern Alaska, along with a short, nostalgic closing work A Gaelic Blessing.
Additional gratis music from the A Tempo Music Index may be chosen if you order masks.
All gratis A Tempo music is free only until early 2021, as the entire Index will be in the hands of a distributor – though still available from A Tempo Music – after that time.
The author’s views and opinions are his own, as are those of all ChoralNet bloggers. ACDA is providing comprehensive, expert-informed, regularly updated information about singing safety and best practices for rehearsals during this difficult time on the following web page: https://acda.org/resources-for-choral-professionals-during-a-pandemic/.