Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I mentioned a few weeks back that, at Record Club, Nina played a selection from this album. She lent it to me yesterday.
Holy crap! Amazing stuff, scaring and thrilling this atheist soul simultaneously. Congregational choirs from Alabama and Georgia, recorded in 2005-2006. My understanding (I could well be wrong) is that these aren't "choirs", just reg'lar folk, divided into four sections with a "conductor" for each and the hymns divided into parts, more or less soprano, alto, tenor, bass. Each one begins with a weird kind of solfege, as though to allow the group to find its tonal center and cadence, then they launch into the hymn proper. The untrained aspect seems to lend a rough-hewn, quavering quality that's quite stirring.
Anyway, thought I'd mention it here on the long shot that a reader might know more about the area. Just what I need, another sub-genre to investigate.
This is the soundtrack to a documentary which is also included, that I've yet to view.