Press-Citizen column about June 28 concert
On Sunday, June 22, the Press-Citizen published this article about the Family Folk Machine and Voices of Experience concert that’s coming up this Saturday the 28th:
The Family Folk Machine and the Voices of Experience will join forces to present a fun and free intergenerational concert on Saturday, June 28, at 2 p.m. at the Englert Theater. The Family Folk Machine is an intergenerational group, celebrating the talents of kids and adults alike, but with extra “experienced” members in our combined choir it seemed like a good time to perform songs that focus specifically on the different stages of life and relationships that span the generations. The Voices and the FFM are both Senior Center groups, and we are excited to be presenting a joint concert for the first time.
It has been a pleasure to bring together songs that help us reflect on the passage of time and on the joys and difficulties of various life stages. The program includes favorites like Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn,” where the repeated metaphor of circling helps us to accept the balance between opposing forces that we experience in life. Bill Staines’ “River” uses the current as a metaphor for time, taking us from birth until the point when the singer “flows into the open sea.” And Sally Rogers’ “Circle of the Sun” celebrates the way being born, living, and dying can all be understood as part of our relationship with nature.
Other songs on the program focus on particular life stages. The Family Folk Machine will present two songs from the perspective of a parent welcoming a new baby: “C’est la vie,” by the Cameroonian songwriter Henri Dikongué, and “Little Potato,” recorded by the band Metamora. The Voices of Experience will sing the playful “Yellow Submarine” along with the kids of the FFM, and a trio of young Folk-Machinists will sing “Rocky Road,” which celebrates childhood play.
The Voices of Experience will sing a pair of songs about the idea and, perhaps, the reality of getting older: the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” and the Pete Seeger song “Get Up and Go.” “Get Up and Go” is set to a catchy tune and includes memorable lines such as, “How do I know my youth is all spent/my get-up-and-go has got up and went?” and this one that my kids love to sing, for some reason: “I get up each morning and dust off my wits, open the paper and read the obits; and if I’m not there, I know I’m not dead, so I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.”
Tara McGovern, backed up by the Family Folk Machine, will sing Rani Arbo’s lovely setting of the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem “Crossing the Bar.” And when the combined choirs sing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” it will be the Weavers’ version that begins by establishing our relationship to bygone generations: “We are traveling in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before…” We’ll end our concert with “Precious Friend,” a reflection on what’s really important through all the years and all the ups and downs of life: friendship. “And when we sing another little victory song, precious friend you will be there, singing in harmony.”
Join us at the Englert for these spirited songs on June 28! We hope you sing along, too. For more information about the Voices of Experience, check the current Program Guide from the Senior Center. For more information about the Family Folk Machine, see familyfolkmachine.org.