The Practice

I sat, moved by fifty Welshmen, in their everyday clothes, pouring their souls into their national pastime.  These men were practising for the pure pleasure of singing together, with the thought of their future concerts clearly in second place.

Rarely have I felt it such an amazing privilege to be a spectator (or should that be ‘listener’) to such a inconspicuous event. As I listen to them hone their already trained voices – many are Blue Riband singers –  to the next level of perfection, I have to admit to a moment or two of deep emotion.  Heaven knows, they’re good.

These guys were singing on the pitch of the Millennium Stadium down in Cardiff only a week ago, at the Six Nations game, yet here they are, farmers, painters and decorators, quarrymen, and shepherds, big muscular men, sitting literally on the edge of their orange plastic chairs in a little church hall in Betws-y-Coed, singing their hearts out. They draw from each other the deepest richest tones. They humbly pay attention to their musical director John Daniel as he coaches them bi-lingually on the finer detail of each bar and refines each phrase. They focus their attention, no, affection, on bringing Bridge Over Troubled Water to a new level of meaning, not least for me.

Some of these men have driven a hundred miles to be at this practice, and they do it every two weeks. At the half time coffee break the sound of singing voices is replaced by that natural relaxed chatter of people comfortable with each other, teasing, laughing. I can only admire the closeness of a common bond and the shared fun of taking their music from this hall to a wider world (they’ve been to Australia and the States).

I will never forget that practice as the sheer volume of sound (carefully controlled by John Daniel: “DO NOT, under ANY account, sacrifice quality and tuning for volume.” Note to Self: Never sacrifice quality and tuning for volume.) flowed out beyond the lobby doors of that small space towards the street outside. As the ten or so of us in the impromptu audience finally emerged from this relaxing auditory massage, I knew the passion of ‘Cantorion Colin Jones’ (aka The North Wales Male Chorus) had reached into my heart.

And so had their love.

“Help – I’m stuck.”

Caught in the departure lounge with a cancelled flight? Stuck in traffic on the motorway? Trapped in a train that has broken down between stations?  Those are the easy ones to handle for they rarely last more than a day. The big ones are those from which there seems to be NO escape. It seems they’ll go on for ever…

In some sort of prison through a miscarriage of justice? In a ‘debt trap’ and being stripped naked by your creditors? Being told what to do by a little child inside you (and obeying) when you are desperate to be running your emotional life yourself, thank you?

Trapped by food, alcohol,  one of your children, or a parent, or bitterness, your family background, a past mistake or criminal action? Or maybe trapped by someone else’s actions or attitude?  An ‘accident of birth’, rejection, unfaithfulness.

Knowing whose at fault is not the issue – it’s never one person’s fault, is it? Knowing what to do HERE and NOW is what matters.

For that I can offer you much more than hope – though your hope will increase too. We spent several years creating a powerful yet simple process that sets you free from having to obey, having to conform, and having to agree. It opens the trap. In any sort of prison you have to do what you’re told – even in some sort of ‘prison’ you’ve built yourself.  Now you can walk out.

One way is to email me: I’ll be delighted to spend a few moments on the phone or Skype with you.  Or you can comment below.  Feel free.

It needn’t be long before you do (feel free, that is.)

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