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Cooking and singing - the funcrunch files


Oct. 5th, 2013 10:38 pm Cooking and singing

boyziggy and I went to a farewell party today for The Free Farm, where I've been volunteering since last August. We're not actually closing the gates permanently until the end of December, but it made sense to have the party now before the weather turns rainy and cold.

And was it hot! I was sweltering in the mid-afternoon sun at the farm. I'd spent most of the previous day and part of the morning baking and cooking for the party, so was quite tired. I made vegan fudge brownies, carrot cake cupcakes (which boyziggy decorated with fun peace signs and hearts), and oatmeal muffins, all from the Happy Herbivore cookbook and web site. And I helped prep veggies and tofu for the shepherd's pie main course. We did that cooking at Martin de Porres; it was great to use an industrial kitchen where there was plenty of room and equipment, compared to the cramped quarters of my Food Not Bombs cooking days.

So in addition to helping with the cooking, I'd volunteered to sing and play the bass. Following a ceremony and blessings, we had some music at the farm itself, but my set was scheduled for the dinner which was being held at a nearby church. Despite the heat I spontaneously decided to sing (a capella) a couple of songs from the hippie musical classic Hair at the farm, asking others to join in on the choruses for "Good Morning Starshine" and "Aquarius". Good times. (The first song performed at the farm was "Big Yellow Taxi", which was sadly appropriate considering our beautiful free farm is being replaced by an apartment complex.)

After we moved to the church for the evening portion of the festivities, I performed a three-song set. I'd originally intended to do the same three solo bass/voice pieces I'd performed at Ziggy's birthday party, but at the last minute decided to scrap one of them ("Soda Shop", the most difficult) and sing an a capella number instead. I kept the two Nick Drake arrangements: "Know" (below, from last year) and "Black Eyed Dog".



Then I sang "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. People seemed to really enjoy it. I got lots of praise afterwards. Felt great.

Another farm volunteer did a lovely set on piano, including challenging Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt pieces. I felt bad that she didn't get the nearly undivided attention that was accorded me and her young students who performed a short set before mine. I was listening with rapt attention myself, particularly to the Brahms Intermezzo in A major which I'd also worked on but never performed.

I really want to do more singing. Having several difficult pieces to learn for the chorus (next concert November 16, save the date!) is helpful to keep me practicing, but I most love singing solo or with a small group. I need to find more outlets, besides karaoke, for that.

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