MetaChantey? October 17, 2020 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Anyone interested in a virtual meetup to sing sea chanteys and traditional folk music?

I've always wanted to do something like this and with a new wave of COVID on us maybe now is the time for a virtual meetup.

What I would bring: a good ear, ability to read music, a strong voice, knowledge of repertoire, dedication. I'm NOT a director by any stretch but if we have skilled, self-directed singers we may not need a formal director.

All genders and voice parts would be welcome.

Gauging interest before I post to IRL.
posted by Sheydem-tants to MetaFilter-Related at 8:06 AM (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

In my experience, Zoom and other videoconference tools don't keep audio synced well; just trying the sing Happy Birthday to my brother was wretched. One folk band I know recorded 1 track for rhythm, then had everyone else add to it. I do some zoom dancing; it's marginal, but the video usually syncs better-ish. Check out Choir!Choir!Choir! for some sing with others options.

If somebody played piano or guitar online, and used Rise Up Singing as the book, I'd be in. If you don't have a copy of it, highly recommended; there are definitely sea chanties and much more.
posted by theora55 at 8:21 AM on October 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

The San Francisco Maritime Association has begun holding their monthly Chantey Sings virtually rather than aboard the Balclutha at the Maritime Park. It looks like they are just having people sign up to lead songs on Zoom, so the group singalong aspect is absent.

One of last month's singers (Simon @35:07) lives in the UK and notes that he is participating in several virtual folk singing groups, but that the only time he's sung with others in months in a situation where he could hear their harmonies was when one of the groups recently met to sing on the beach. So a virtual singalong sounds like a pretty tricky undertaking.

Anyway, I just thought I'd offer an example of how others are doing virtual chantey sings. The next SF sing is on Saturday the 24th; last month's is available to view at the first link. There's also a PDF at the link for song leaders that gives some additional hints as to how the backend works.
posted by obloquy at 12:56 PM on October 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Snug Harbor in NY does this too, and they've also switched to virtual. I've been to the live event and it's a blast. I can't say I can participate (can't much carry a tune) but I do hope you get one together with others.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:12 PM on October 17, 2020

I would try this. I came across this and really love it
posted by gt2 at 3:06 PM on October 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Northwest Seaport has been doing these too! I assume it's the 'host sings, everyone else sings along when muted, mild kibitzing in between songs' variety -- I haven't actually shown up to one :x

If you want realtime, I think Jamulus is coming out as the best option, but then everyone should be geographically near you for best results.

In any case, I'm game, at a 'ability to sight-sing (very diatonic) music'-level!
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:30 AM on October 18, 2020

I would try this.
posted by corb at 3:17 PM on October 18, 2020

I would do this and I don't even care it's all out of sinc and sounds funny. I'm so down anyways!
posted by xarnop at 3:50 PM on October 18, 2020

I've really wanted a singing group for people who can't sing (that the point is just social singing and not really to become good singers) for a long time. Basically like group karaoke singalong kind of thing. Is this something you could come to if you just want to sing socially and aren't particularly good at it?
posted by xarnop at 3:54 PM on October 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

IRL chantey sings are generally very good for wanting-to-sing-socially-and-not-being-particular-good-at-it, and I imagine virtual ones are too.

I'm in favor of muting yourself and singing along. Everyone singing unmuted isn't goofy low-fi don't-care-if-we-sound-good campfire fun, it's punishingly, unrewardingly chaotic glitch noise. And it makes singing along less possible, because it's often hard to tell what the song leader is singing, or even what sounds are coming from them in the unparseable wall of hot violent garbage.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:08 PM on October 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Muted is a great idea-- I don't know why it bothers me to have others hear me. I certainly sing in storytime but can't seem to muster it otherwise.

How do we propose a virtual event in IRL? is that a thing?
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:21 PM on October 18, 2020

I'm a bass / (baritone on a good day).

Song of the Mira
South Australia
Drop of Nelson's Blood
Excursion around the Bay
Barrett’s Privateers

I'd recommend memail on the results, because, I at least, definitely don't check MetaTalk as much as the rest of the site.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:22 AM on October 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

yes, please!
posted by chara at 8:21 AM on October 19, 2020

I've been attending the SF Maritime National Park chantey sings for a while, and I'm the harpist who played near the end of the recording of that first virtual sing. It was really fun, and I'd be up for participating in this! I did a lot of singing along on mute, and it was good enough.

That's also most of what my small harp student ensemble does these days - one of us leads unmuted and the others play along on mute.
posted by dreamyshade at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Weavers - Erie Canal

Oh, the E-ri-e is a risin', and the gin is gettin' low
And I scarcely think we'll get a little drink until we get to the city of Buffalo
Until we get to Buffalo
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:21 PM on October 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

Jamulus is a bit awkward to set up initially, but it works very well for folksinging and tunes. There's a group in Frankfurt that's been hosting regular Thursday and Saturday night folk sessions for the last few months - if you're in Europe it'd be lovely to have some more singers along! (I don't know if anyone's running regular sessions for the US but there are certainly plenty of US servers in the folk category as well.)
posted by offog at 3:35 PM on October 19, 2020

This is so cool! My young adult son is a huge fan of sea chanteys, which he learned over many summers at sailing camp in Mystic, CT. He plays the finger-bones (I think that is what they are called), and also loves to dress up in costumes. If a virtual gig gets planned, I'll be sure to let him know!
posted by sundrop at 6:38 AM on October 20, 2020

I haven’t had a ton of luck with virtual singing but would absolutely try this, however it’s set up. I usually sing alto but I’ve done first tenor with all-male groups before.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:14 PM on October 22, 2020

Hey all. To start with, I'll be working with not one but TWO online sea chantey groups going forward. The San Francisco Maritime group is set to continue in virtual mode through 2021, thankfully, or so I heard yesterday. The other is a group called Three Sheets To The Wind out of Gloucester, MA... they may not continue in virtual mode indefinitely but it's a nice group to work with. Both are welcoming of different levels: enthusiasm seems to be the only requirement.

Should I ever get confident enough to organize a group on my own I'll post to IRL. The San Francisco group was mentioned above but if anyone is interested in the Gloucester group, they are on Facebook as "Three Sheets To The Wind." The organizer will answer messages. Next meeting is tomorrow night at 8 pm Eastern US time.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:42 AM on October 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

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