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Pages from a music score of silent melodies.

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

Consonance and dissonance

Consonance and dissonance. John (Baldie uncle) Blog by Anuj Nair

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

In my teens, pretty engaged with professional singing, I was eager to try anything that would help me improve.

It was indeed a challenge to stretch my vocal cords in a residential area, and so I decided to give it a try at the local beach. That didn't work, as I soon realised that it's absurd to sit somewhere at the beach and sing aloud. I even doubted that fishers and other visitors to the beach would drop coins near me if I dare try. Finally, I managed to find the right place. Yes, in a boat!

I started visiting the local boat club all alone, hire a rowing boat and row it in the backwaters, as far away as possible from the shore. It became a routine that I would reach the boat club by 3 pm and return by 5 pm.

Most often, I would be the only rower at the specified time slot. The audience consisted of cormorants, egrets, cranes, ducks and moorhens, and I believe I was not a trouble for them. Occasionally a train would vroom through the railway overbridge far above the lake.

The songs I used to scream/sing were 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Missionary Man'. As my countertenor is close to Annie Lennox's contralto, I preferred singing those Eurythmics songs. Both of them have a punchy rhythm that perfectly goes along with the rowing tempo. In between, 'Let it Be' or 'Eight Days a Week' by The Beatles, 'Still Loving You' by Scorpions, 'Rosanna' by Toto or 'The House Of The Rising Sun' by The Animals, once a day. Occasionally, I 'tried' a few songs by Freddie Mercury and M K Thyagaraja Bhagavathar (mostly Amba Manam Kaninthu).

My rowing wont continued for several months till about the onset of the monsoon rains.

Being a daily visitor, the secretary of YMCA who is in charge of the boat club used to have friendly chats with me and once I revealed my honest intention to him, as he drew curious to know why I'm rowing all alone.