Several weeks ago, a beautiful 11 year old girl named Josée died in a sledding accident at the hill at the Mooney’s Bay, a park where I walk regularly. This was her first winter in Ottawa. Her entire family moved from Lebanon just 6 months ago, to build a new life in Canada. The story broke my heart. “Life is so unfair,” I told J. “Life is cruel,” he replied.
The day I heard about what happened to Josée, I planned to record my part of “A Quiet Place” from TAKE 6. For most a cappella singers, singing Take 6’s song is likely an item in our bucket list. The original music of the song itself is simply beautiful. But what makes Take 6’s take extraordinary is its marvellous arrangement. To sing each part alone does not make sense, it comes with much suffering for those who overhear it. But once all voices are put together, they culminate in richly textured and exquisitely woven harmonies. Beyond that, its altered chord progressions are not only eargasmic, they also fit the message and the lyrics so wonderfully.
Typically, it’d only take about 8-10 minutes to do such a recording. But this time I struggled to find a place to sing it from. And, yet, as I started singing, I found that place. My quiet place is neither religious nor sacred. It is a place of love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness in my heart that I always go to, especially whenever my soul is crushed, and my hope crumbled. There, my faith in humanity is renewed. Life can be cruel. Thus, there’s more reason to be kind and loving to each other. To let yourself love others and be loved in return. To add sparks of hope and beauty to life, to the world.
My Edoens soulmates Fani, Rino, Bram, Ben, and Novel l thank you not only for helping me checking off my bucket list’s item and harmonising with me, but also for creating our quiet space together and emboldening me to embrace each day as a new day with love for all mankind.
m in Ottawa, January 2022