49 Above, Music, Singles, Spotlight — August 15, 2014 at 8:13 am

49 Above: Guelph’s Ondine Chorus – Improvisational Choral Pop (!)

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ondine

And we continue our visit in Guelph, Ontario (first act featured was Elequant). Ondine Chorus have a unique thing going on. Most pop music fans don’t think of choral music as something to explore. Here’s hoping Ondine inspires you to dig a little deeper into the genre.

I recently discovered this group through a feature on CBC Radio, and was super intrigued. After hearing the group sing, I made sure to jot down their name at the next stop light lest I forget who they were. The group’s membership is in flux, I suspect most of the time, as it’s tough to have this many people schedule events. However, the current line-up is made up of Co-Artistic Directors Shannon Kingsbury and Sue Smith, along with David Beattie, Tricia Brubacher, Tannis Slimmon and Monique Vischschraper. They collaborate with artists from various disciplines, and perform both scored and improvised works during their shows. Think of it like choral meets jazz meets pop.

They recorded this EP while they were snowed in during the recent Ontario ice storm. A bunch of musicians, in a cold room, singing the night away. The album is lovely and warm in spite of its frozen origins, and I highly recommend the purchase.

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