Island Voices Chamber Choir presents Distillations: The Spirit of Song at the Shelter Point Distillery on April 20 and 21.
This is the final concert in a season-long celebration of the choir’s 20th anniversary. Shelter Point is a wonderful venue that offers an intimate and warm setting that will draw in the audience, and lush acrostics that singers delight in.
As with the previous two concerts this season, the program draws from the choir’s 20 year repertoire with each season and musical genre represented. Songs, mostly sung a cappella range from the sophisticated, to the sublime, to the silly. Selections include La, la, la, je ne l’ose dire a lively, French chanson written in 1538 by Renaissance composer Pierre Certon. The Micma”q Honour Song is an haunting chant that employs nature sounds and the call of the human voice. Tabula Rosa or “blank slate” by BC’s Don MacDonald exquisitely captures a quiet moment between mother and child when the mother contemplates the infinite potential of the precious life she holds in her arms.
The choir will ‘raise the roof’ with Witness, a stirring traditional spiritual. Tell My Ma When I Go Home is a cheeky, Irish children’s street song. Sesere eeye is a popular song and dance from the Torres Strait Island in Northern Australia and yes, the the choir will dance. And of course, Emcee John Elson will introduce these and many other pieces, entertaining the audience with his wit, charm and wry sense of humour.
A distillery may not be an obvious choice for a concert unless one is familiar with Shelter Point.
“There is an anticipation of something unique as one enters the production room,” says bass Doug Colwell. “Bright shiny metallic tanks occupy the upper level, light bounces off glass bottles; all buffered by dull wooden casks on the floor. As one settles into the space, the industrial setting begins to reveal itself as something less formal and more intimate and welcoming. The subtle smells and cool ambient light create an atmosphere of relaxation. The rich sound of human voices
interacting with the surroundings creates a transcendent, dare I say intoxicating experience.”
Due to the limited number of seats, Island Voices has added a Saturday matinee. Performances are on Friday April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, April 21 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $20 (students free with an adult) and are available at The Music Plant (Campbell River), Blue Heron Books (Comox) and Benjamin Moore House of Colour (Courtenay).