We are a non-profit organization, formed by women to communicate through music of the world's traditions. We welcome all women in a community of song, reaching out to all people locally, regionally and globally. We offer an environment of learning and shared musical artistry in which women, whether beginners or experienced, can express themselves through music. Music is one of the deepest means of expressing the inexpressible, whether it be emotions, reactions to events, spiritual awakenings, honoring the wheel of the year, or celebration. Songs bring words to that expression, but the music is the means and the vehicle. In Animaterra, we make many technical decisions about when to breathe, how to enunciate, how to “adjust the volume”, and so on, in order to create a unified sound that is the hallmark of a chorus versus a soloist or even a duet or trio. Sometimes decisions are obvious: breathe at a comma, or when there’s a rest or pause in the music. Other times, it’s not so clear: when the songwriter or arranger artistically phrases the lyrics to run through phrase after phrase of melody, or when various parts are polyphonic so the entrances and breaks are not the same in each voice. What’s a chorus to do?
Ultimately, we are a chorus because we choose music as the means of our expression. Therefore, we serve the music first. Even at the expense of a comma (or lack of punctuation!) we will let the music inform the technical decisions. In this way we allow the music to speak, to express what the words cannot.
One of the joys of Animaterra is that, while the director comes to the first rehearsal fully armed with music and words for the whole season, there truly is collaboration with the chorus, and the concert reflects many decisions made, changes (some spontaneous) and the shining power of weeks and months of practicing together. In this way we are able to express the inexpressible and let the music shine!