Randa and I have been singing together for over thirty years now and it’s still one of my favorite things to do. I’ve enjoyed singing ever since I was a small child. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve enjoyed singing for longer than I can remember. Mom and Dad both sang well, loved singing, and made singing part of being in our family.
I guess a key part in the pleasure Randa and I find in it is that we have pretty similar tastes in music. Not complete overlap, mind you, but enough that it never takes very long for us to find songs we both like to sing. It’s the harmony that brings me the most satisfaction.
Vocal harmony creates something that is truly more than the sum of the parts. The sound of harmony, the resonation of notes that supplement rather than duplicate, produces a special musical experience. I enjoyed hearing harmony in the a cappella fellowship I grew up in. I enjoyed hearing it on the bluegrass records my brother Paul played on his stereo. I enjoy hearing it in multiple professional groups and events. I love hearing harmony singing but as a participant, I find it transcendent.
By singing together, Randa and I do something neither of us can do alone. Neither of us believes that we have amazing voices, but by blending our voices with each carrying a different part, we create a richer sound. A sound that is more robust, fuller and that has a quality that goes beyond what we can do alone. Even there are solos that we each can do that aren’t too shabby, we both find singing together more fun, more rewarding, and more fulfilling.
Even though it’s highly unlikely we’re going to find fame, fortune or glory in our singing, we have found something good and worthwhile. Personal pleasure, the appreciation of others, and the creation of something together that sounds better than either of us does alone. And I will tell you flat out, no doubt, no room for argument, not even the slightest room for debate, that our most transcendent moments in sharing that expression, are when it is devoted to worship.
I think that our love of singing together has something to do with unity, with the seeking of harmony in action and expression, with the pursuit of connection that reaches outward and upward. Something that is in a very small yet meaningful way, a reflection of the person and nature of God.