Well, That Was Interesting . . .

Trying to sing Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum” with a singer’s-mask on is a challenge. Beethoven was actually easier (the “Halleluia” from the Mount of Olives) because it is fast and has lots of places to breathe. Legato + mask = real difficulties. I managed to survive, and did a little better on “Balm in Giliad.” I even got to try the solo in “Balm.” I never get a solo, even in rehearsal, so that was fun.

The mask is designed to stay out from the face, and resembles the bill of a duck-billed platypus. It has a tight fit, and is two layers of heavy muslin. I’d love to know what my O2 saturation was after two hours of wearing it, and trying to sing. I managed it, but I was exhausted, more than the music should have caused. I’d love to try singing outdoors, without the mask, but that’s not an option at the place where we meet.

So of course I went looking for recordings, found one by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and once again had severe voice envy. She was soooooo good in her prime, and did Mozart so well! I want to be a soprano like her when I grow up.

11 thoughts on “Well, That Was Interesting . . .

  1. After thinking about it, there’s places in our less-used parks where I could warm up and sing. I need to rebuild some control on airflow, maybe only annoy a few cows in the process. But not Orvan, I have great respect for Ox.

    • Considering some alleged singing I’ve heard (and the one guy who commits Attempted Whistling) I cannot imagine you managing to be annoying. And when did I become respectable? Not that I mind, mind.

  2. Oh, I can imagine!
    I did the solo in Laudate Dominum in the girls’ choir at sixteen because I had a ‘boy soprano like voice’. Also I’m pretty sure memorizing everything before solo tryouts helped, but the director couldn’t very well use my voice for the more modern songs. 24 years ago, I still know it by heart.

    Trying to do that with a mask on, I expect you’d inhale the mask every time you did get to breathe!

    Best place for singing outside is my back yard.

  3. There’s a variant of the shield that I’ll see around. Rather than mounting high on the head, it’s attached to the body at the chin, and sticks up to cover the nose and mouth. The wearer does get an unfortunate resemblance to a piranha, though.

    No idea if air circulation is better than the conventional visor. I’m trying to figure out how to wear the visor along with a hat come winter. I assume Despicable Kate Brown (D:Gov-Portland) is going to mandate mask wearing until she’s overthrown.

  4. I looked that thing up. Nope, not enough volume of air, still too humid, and actually a little too airtight. It needs to come with an oxygen tank and/or rebreather, like for divers. Our music director at church was encouraging us to buy one for choir, but that’s a hard nope for me. I thought it would actually have some tentspace in front of the face, like a nice long dog muzzle for a big Irish wolfhound, but no.

  5. Honestly surprised y’all don’t pass out trying to sing through those masks… O2 sat definitely goes down!

    • I stashed several general-purpose dust masks in the vehicles in case I didn’t bring a mask. After nearly passing out with one while grocery shopping, those masks will go back to the shop and will be used (for brief periods) for their intended purpose.

      I use the visor-with-a-headband. Our county is sufficiently Karen-deficient that I can tilt the visor high enough to get fresh air through nose and mouth if the situation warrants. And (TV announcer voice), They’re ReUsable! Still on mask #1 out of a 10 pack after 6 weeks (well, I only need it one day a week…)

      If I have to wear a mask, the surgical variety (either 3M or third-rate knockoff) is sufficient. Nostrils are exposed.

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