Apparently when people sing together, their heartbeats synchronise.
I can’t remember where I heard this. I guess it stands to reason that the length of a musical phrase would dictate at what point you took a breath, and that if everyone is breathing together in time, that their heartrates would then be affected. Then what would that do to blood pressure? Could you treat a room full of people with high blood pressure by getting them to sing along with a load of people with low blood pressure?! Could this save the NHS money?!
Emphasis on apparently. But isn’t it rather lovely?
Sound-check on my recent tour. I’m always tense until everything is working. Awkward stop-starts and fretful exchanges eventually give way to head-bobs and smiles. We run behind schedule, then in they come. Someone straight from work, trying not to feel like a trespasser, looking for any familiar faces other than my preoccupied mug. Another few people trickle in and mid-song and I squawk a ‘hello choir!’ trying to make them feel welcome whilst fighting my nerves. The choir arrive. This will be the first time the band and I have sung with them. We’ll perform tonight. The scores I wrote and sent to the choir leader all those months ago are now living, breathing. We all assemble, in new positions, standing tentatively. Our soundperson is ready and we begin. And the strangers’ heartbeats synchronise.
(Apparently).Heartfelt thanks to Soul of the City, Glorious Chorus and Victoria Park Singers! My next show will be at historic Butley Priory, Suffolk. Details of that and other concerts coming soon…
Photo by Matt Monfredi (using a camera that once captured Bowie!)