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August 4, 2007 3:53 PM   Subscribe

Single Japanese Male. Rather than yammering in Meta about what "best of the web" means, let's have an object-lesson in astonishing obscure excellence. Introducing every last one of you to the Virtual Wilbye Consort.
posted by jfuller (19 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Driven by a singular vision "one-singer-does-it-all," Virtual Wilbye Consort has been recording lesser known (and some well-known) madrigals by John Wilbye and his contemporaries. The virtual group was inaugurated in April 2001 in Tokyo, the karaoke capital of the world. Virtual Byrd Choir, a sister group dedicated to church music, was established in September of the same year.



As it has been pointed out that the above paragraph is somewhat too cryptic, here is a more straightforward version. All songs carried on this site are sung by myself, an amateur singer with little formal training, using a multi-track recording device. Singing all parts by oneself is wickedly fun. I'd recommend it to any choir members. I had been with a number of choirs in the past two decades or so but until I started on this project I did not realize how much I had missed by just singing one part.



I have no idea how much bandwith there is on the singer's .jp site; please treat it gently if you can--i.e. more gently than I did by posting the link here. There are some mirrors around for both the Wilbye Consort and the Byrd Choir. If you don't already roll in this sort of music like a drunk cat in catnip, start with Orlando Gibbons's The Silver Swan. If you do, try John Ward's jaw-dropping Come Sable Night. Hardcore Wilbye-istas will go straight to Lady, When I Behold.

Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting,
Which clad in damask mantles deck the arbours,
And then behold your lips, where sweet Love harbours,
My eyes present me with a double doubting.
For, viewing both alike, hardly my mind supposes
Whether the roses be your lips or your lips the roses.


Whoever you are, Single Japanese Male, fuller rises and bows.
posted by jfuller at 3:56 PM on August 4, 2007


Hahaha. These tracks just make me want to laugh for some reason.
posted by delmoi at 4:01 PM on August 4, 2007


Should've used [more inside] about three paragraphs earlier.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:02 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


> Should've used [more inside] about three paragraphs earlier.

Denied. This is worth some front page real estate.
posted by jfuller at 4:04 PM on August 4, 2007


Y'know, I've always wanted to try this.
posted by chrismear at 4:22 PM on August 4, 2007


I thought it was just obscure at first. Good post.
posted by Mblue at 4:25 PM on August 4, 2007


Lovely
posted by donfactor at 4:48 PM on August 4, 2007


You are right, jfuller, this definitely qualifies on my "best of the web" list. Absolutely superb. Thanks for introducing me to it.
posted by RMALCOLM at 4:52 PM on August 4, 2007


He got rule #1 ...always start with a click track. It's all in tune and nicely recorded.

*shrug*

It lacks the spontaneousness of a directed choir.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:18 PM on August 4, 2007


I have no idea how much bandwith there is on the singer's .jp site; please treat it gently if you can--i.e. more gently than I did by posting the link here.

Next time you link to a site like this, use Coral Cache. Pretty transparent and saves it from going down due to bandwidth overload.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:52 PM on August 4, 2007


When you mentioned karaoke and 'virtual choir', I was expected to see a bunch of people pretending to sing with choir music playing in the background. This is much better.

Mefi should always have some interesting music links every week that we can click on and listen to while we peruse, link, and tour the Mefi eclectic world vision.
posted by eye of newt at 6:31 PM on August 4, 2007


Wow, this is fantastic. Thank you.
posted by oflinkey at 6:41 PM on August 4, 2007


> It lacks the spontaneousness of a directed choir.

Ayup, amateur in bedroom with four-track fails to beat practiced S-A-T-B with director. Acknowledged.

At least, distinguo, he fails to beat the all-time best group I know of for this music, namely the Wilbye Consort (April Cantelo, Ursula Connors, Margaret Cable, Noreen Willett, Nigel Rogers, Ian Partridge, Geoffrey Shaw, directed by Peter Pears), in which all the bizarre vocal mannerisms for which the formidably intellectual but vocally not so gifted Pears was notorious, when used by better singers under his direction, suddenly make perfect sense and cause the listener to go "OMG so that's what he was driving at all these years. "

On the other hand, Single Japanese Male beats (handily) the Joshua Greenberg-era New York Pro Musica which (on the well-known recording on which Auden reads the Renaissance verses and then the ensemble sings them) takes many of these same pieces at astonishingly fast tempi--just to prove they could enuncuiate at such speeds, I suppose; but the emotional content gets left in the dust and there's not much left for the listener to do but goggle at the technique. Amateur in bedroom with 4-track kicks New York Pro Musica to the curb, that's worth mentioning to Cecilia if you bump into her.


> Coral Cache.

Thanks for the tip, big D, I will.

posted by jfuller at 6:53 PM on August 4, 2007


Ach, that's great.
posted by Abiezer at 7:19 PM on August 4, 2007


Wow, he has an enviable vocal range: rich baritone, smooth tenor, and non-screechy falsetto. Great find, jfuller.
posted by Quietgal at 9:35 PM on August 4, 2007


I really enjoyed listening to these--thank you.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:02 AM on August 5, 2007


Nice post jfuller, madrigals, no problem! But what's with the curious and ultimately unnecessary editorializing in your FPP about "best of the web", yammering in Meta, and that title about reading the guidelines? Did you for some reason imagine that there would be some rush of complaints about this post? Can't imagine why you would've thought that, so I can only assume that you were, what, sort of congratulating yourself on coming up with something really good? Best of the web, perhaps? Hmm, can't help feeling I'm being condescended to. Anyway, I personally would have appreciated something on the front page more along the lines of: "Here's a anonymous guy who uses multitrack recording to do madrigals, and posts them for you to listen to." Whatever problems you have with MetaFilter, MetaTalk or whatever have absolutely no connection to this madrigals post. Just sayin'.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:53 AM on August 5, 2007


> "Here's a anonymous guy who uses multitrack recording to do madrigals, and posts them for you to listen to."

The sin, apparently, was to waste space including the singer's own site description in the fpp. Because that's what got deleted, rather than the condescending editorial which remains.
posted by jfuller at 4:21 AM on August 5, 2007


I see.

*strolls away humming a madrigal*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:18 AM on August 5, 2007


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