The Lazy Jacks, like many other musical (and other) groups, tried the online approach to our usual rehearsals. Using Zoom meant we couldn´t sing harmony for each other to hear, and we missed the warmth and laughter of meeting in our kitchens or dining rooms. Some of us adapted quite easily to the restrictions on socializing, and streamed other sessions, and even joined in a few shanty sessions across the continent. But it wasn´t the same.
Respectfully, we reviewed two main aspects of the COVID-19 guidelines for safe meetings:
And we looked at our own requirements:
- A roof to keep us dry
- Good acoustics
- Adequate lighting
For the last few months, we´ve been meeting in the corner of a underused public parking garage! It´s covered, but open on all sides, with decent lighting, and some pretty interesting acoustics.
We bring chairs, music stands, small clip-on lights for the stands, and music. And we can hear each other, and hear all of us together. And even better, we can see one another in real life, and smile, and make honest-to-goodness eye contact.
This being Vancouver, we might be able to keep on singing all winter in this location. I´m not sure how the acoustics would handle an open shanty session, but until group singing is no longer a ¨dangerous¨ activity — thanks to the pandemic — we´ll work on our repertoire from a safe shanty distance … 3 meters apart, 6 meters, and more. We´ll listen to the live harmonies echo off the the walls, and we´ll hope for better weather for us all.