Raising our voices at Narberth Acapella Voice Festival
This past weekend the wonderful Span Arts hosted their 7th annual Acapella Voice Festival.
With events from all walks of life spanning three days of celebrations, we popped down to check out just a few of the many audible delights on offer and tussle our way to the front of the stage in this well-supported festival.
First up we warmed our vocal chords at one of the workshops on offer; with the options to learn techniques from the Black Voices, Enkelit Finnish choir, Heart Singing and Mongolian throat singing, we opted for the infamous Big Sing workshop at The Queens Hall. Run by Pembrokeshire’s very own Molera of the One Voice Choir, which practices nearby, upwards of 60 people gathered after lunch to learn three songs from scratch and perform them afterwards.
After being split into four vocal ranges, we quickly picked up our parts with some helpful guidance by the One Voice members, stretching our much-abused vocal chords! How lucky to be able to be part of the festival, not just as an audience member, and directed by such a renowned choir. We left feeling elated, light headed and thoroughly rewarded.
After some time to catch our breath, we were back for Saturday nights headline performers, kicked off by the Bristol based 11-piece Original Sing. Acapella at its absolute finest, sometimes comic, often heartfelt and thoroughly captivating, ‘ Mr. Blue Sky’ was a particular favourite amongst the sold-out auditorium.
Next a swift departure from all things expected, twice UK beat-boxing champion Grace Savage took to the stage with an immeasurable display of vocal technique, lyricism, heavy beats and lullaby singing voice, all with just a microphone and a loop station. With mashups of popular 90’s and modern classics, this fully textured, energetic performance had the audience riveted and begging for more of her unique vocal talents.
Lastly, and with a softer feel altogether, Enkelit choir took to the stage with their ghostly lyricism of traditional and contemporary acapella music from Finland. Other-worldly in sound, their voices echoed in the space and brought what had been a rowdy audience to complete silence and appreciation. After a day of so much variety and new experiences, this was the perfect way to end - with trance like beauty and gentle skill.
If you didn't make it to this year's festival, make sure you add it to next years diary (it really was amazing ) But until then, here's a taster from the seriously talented Black Voices.
Why not make a weekend of it and spend 48hours in Narberth; it will give you more time to practice your singing!
Did you make it down to Narberth and enjoy the vocal stylings on offer? Share your photos and thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear from you.