Here they are!!! The King’s Singers! I’ve been there, finally. At Cadogan Hall, 21 of march 2009.
It all started as a joke. Browsing the King’s Singers website became a usual thing to do every week, and checking the band’s concert calendar was a first. I never thought as a possibility to go to one of their concerts. It implies costs, time, and costs again. But it came out that it wasn’t the end of the world. Actually, it was quite a normal thing to do. So, a few months ago, me and my girlfriend decided to go to London to see The King’s Singers in a live concert. They were performing to promote their latest album “Romance du Soir” which by the way, is totally great. But let’s start with the beginning. Who are The King’s Singers?
Well, several years ago I was recording a demo cd (at a friends place) with Christmas carols. When we got bored of “playing” singers we started to listen to some music. So my friend played a track from a band he saved it as being The London Singers. Somehow this is how they were found on the internet. Immediately I was surprised by the sound quality of the voices and I did not want to believe that only six guys can do this. Later I learned that it was The King’s Singers and I started looking for more information about them and their music. Since then I have been inspired very much in terms of choral music. Their musical arrangements are original and some of them I’ve approached in my repertoire as well after listening to them. Songs like “I
ll follow the sun”, “Il bianco e dolce cigno” or carol “Riu, Riu, Chiu” make also part of Sound’s Choir repertoire.
It’s not all about having a perfect voice in singing. It’s not all about the repertoire also. Because a lot of people can sing and performe. Everybody playes Beethoven or sings White Christmas. It’s the way you approach your repertoire. You have to give it shape in order to atract people’s attention. And the King’s Singers has definitely done it.
The group started in ’68 and since then the members approached almost all kinds of musical genres. From religious music, to madrigals, contemporary music and even to pop music. Most of the times it’s tricky to perform all genres of music. It may become a cliche if your approach is the same in all cases. But they have proved that it’s possible. More about they’re history, here.
But back to the present day. Members have changed in the meantime but the spirit remaind the same. I cannot tell you what it feels like to hear them live and I will not tell you, because it’s something that you have to do once in your lifetime. It really changes you and makes you wonder (as you wander) if it’s possible to reach their level.
We were so excited to the end because we wanted to see the members face to face and ask them for an autograph. We were thinking how pathetic it will be to stalk them at the artist entrance but it seems they have found a way for this to. We were told that they will meet us in the lobby after the concert to have a little chat and to buy their cd’s. Immediatly me and my girlfriend rememberd all the “great” artists from my country who would never do such a thing due to their “ranking” in musical life. This is one of the explanation of why some made it and some didn’t.
Very soon they’ve blended in and if you wouldn’t seen them before you wouldn’t know who the artists were. Very friendly people I must say, and when you talk to them it’s like you’ve been knowing them for a lifetime. Below some images with the members interacting with the audience.
Well, here are the photos of me, my girlfriend and the guys from the King’s Singers.
Petruţa, Paul Phoenix (tenor) and me
We had a little chat with the guys and they were happy to know that we came all the way from Romania to see them. And we were not the only ones. Several other people from Romania came to this concert proving that this band is well known in the country. We have invited them to our music festivals and we hope in the near future we’ll bring a King’s Singers concert in Romania.
In the meantime the band told us about their future projects. Robin Tyson told us more about their programme of a four-day masterclass at the Schleswig-Holstein music festival in the city of Lübeck, Germany. So, all singers and fans of the King’s Singers (but not only), apply to this programme and you may get a chance to be one of the nine vocal ensembles to participate at this workshop. More, here and here. Also, Stephen Connolly told us about his project with the International A Cappella School where he is the musical director. A place for singers from all over the world who want to increase their knowledge of vocal repertoire and of choral and singing techniques. More about this on his personal site, here. Timothy Wayne-Wright is the youngest member in the King’s Singers group and we had to ask him how does it feel. He told us that in the two months of being a member of the group he didn’t had the time to reflect on this or to realize the meaning of it. He found himself with his arms full of the group’s repertoire and asked to learn it. Well, maybe his smile on the stage gave him away. He really looked accomplished, like we did after attending this concert.
(Members costumes lying on a table while people having a chat with the group in the lobby at Cadogan Hall in London)
Once again, I recommend you to go to one of their concerts. Check their calendar, take a few days off and go. It really worth it. And if you still aren’t convinced listen to this:
The King’s Singers performing “Greensleeves” at the 2008 BBC Prom concert in the Royal Albert Hall London