Monday, August 29, 2016

Hearing Things

Experienced an extraordinary auditory hallucination this morning. It occurred during the Chapel for the beginning of our week at which Ferd was leading the songs of worship in his usual inimitable style, accompanied by one of our Year 6 boys who also has an excellent voice. Jonah was on the piano, knocking out one of his brilliantly sympathetic accompaniments and the sound was particularly full, especially when the voices of the kids joining in became noticeable.

It was at this point, about two minutes in to the first song that I found myself listening to an orchestral accompaniment. To be more precise, I distinctly heard a string section, and actually wondered for a moment whether the music was taped. But since Jonah was obviously playing live I realised this just couldn't be the case. As I focused on the phenomenon I realised there couldn't possibly be strings, and the accompaniment duly disappeared.

I happened to see Ferd later in the day and mentioned what I'd heard. It seems that this is quite a well-known occurrence, related to the nature of Jonah's playing and the harmonics it produces. To some degree it's a deliberate element of that style. The harmonics inherent in the singing of the crowd would have added to it, he reckoned. The fact that I sort of now understand what happened doesn't make it any less magical, by the way. If anything it adds to the enchantment.

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