“Sweet is the sound of my newborn wings…”
- lyrics to Butterfly by Mia Makaroff
1. The way everything changes when the sun comes out. We’ve had six weeks of unrelenting leaden skies, the sort that forces your chin into your scarf and sends your eyes down to the pavement as you scurry along to escape the dull cold. We’ve now had three straight days of sunny, clear skies, and although the air is frosty, tiny green shoots are thrusting from the earth. They, like the rest of us, have been waiting for a hint of spring; we’re all looking upward again.
2. The remarkable sound that can come out of a five-hundred voice choir, and I don’t mean a big sound, as you might expect. I was privileged to spend a weekend in the presence of the Finnish vocal group Rajaton, both on-stage and off. As much as I enjoyed performing backup with them for two sold-out Abba shows, it was a thrill to sit in the audience and listen to their a capella singing, which is as close to vocal ensemble perfection as I’ve ever heard. The concert closed with a five-hundred voice choir (including the Resident Teenager) joining them in one of Rajaton’s signature songs, Butterfly. The pianissimo passages were enriched by their numbers, but left me holding my breath so as not to miss anything. It was extraordinary. Think of a whale’s whisper.
3. Butterfly. Self-explanatory.