Sunday, October 2, 2011

PsalmiDeo's "Behind the Scenes" in Review

A Review by Hawk Liu

I just came back from the wonderful concert by PsalmiDeo Chorale which sang songs from the movies, both American and Tagalog ones. After a slightly harmonically-shaky first few bars in the first number, the choir went from strength to strength. Much of the harmonies were tight and the singers were certainly able, notwithstanding the occasional off-harmony bits. The women had really good voices all round. When the sopranos or the altos were singing solo sections, one can really hear the good quality of the voices. The tenors blended well together too. I wish I could hear more of the basses but i suspected that's because the majority of them were facing the opposite wing rather than the audience. A few soloists were featured in some of the songs and I must applaud them for doing so without any miking. However, their voices could certainly stand out better if they had stood further downstage, away from the main body of the choir (though I was aware that they might have had to stay within the 'shell' of the stage for the acoustics to work for them). Oh yes, I enjoyed everyone of the soloists.

The musical numbers were interspersed with succint narration and visuals were aptly displayed on the overhead projection and that the presentation interest too. On the technical side, I did wish the stage didn't go into complete darkness between numbers because the choir would look good in the light even during in-between numbers.

The Tagalog numbers were a welcome as even though they are unfamiliar to Singaporeans I am sure the majority Filipino crowd were pleased. There was an all round good feeling during the entire concert with big smiles on stage and the crowd giving encouraging cats calls now and again. The choir showed they were game to put in some 'physical' fun during some numbers, such as the 'walking cymbal' noises made by some of the singers. I wish there was a bit more choreography on stage - maybe I am spoilt by watching many choral ensembles on YouTube that came with strong choreography. The musical highlight for me was the last number - Circle of Life from The Lion King. The men were making lots of jungle noises and it did sound like being in the jungle. Very rousing indeed! Filipinos can really sing and entertain!

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