Brian Eno e i giornalisti indagano le capacità terapeutiche del canto corale.

Nella lettera di raccomandazione per il canto corale pubblicata un paio d’anni fa sul New York Times la scrittrice Sarah Manguso descrive così l’esperienza di cantare in un coro:

…in a choir, I can make sound, focus the mind, enjoy myself and forget myself, all at once. There is an old choristers’ adage that goes, “When the music is marked forte, sing so you can hear yourself; when it’s marked piano, sing so you can hear the others.” After enough practice, you can learn to feel the vibration in your skull and tell by the sensation whether your pitch is right, your timbre true. It is a kind of listening without hearing. Perhaps this combination of experiences is as common as what psychologists call flow, a state of complete absorption in an activity.

I feel an additional pleasure, though, greater than flow, when I sing in a choir. It’s a mode of singing that strikes a balance between feeling necessary — each voice must participate to achieve the grand unified sound — and feeling invisible, absorbed into the choir, your voice no longer yours. I can work hard, listen hard and disappear, let the ocean of sound close over me.

Il coro è anche la migliore dimostrazione che “l’unione fa la forza”, come racconta Oliver Burkeman dalle pagine del The Guardian.

Group singing is a perfect case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. For entirely non-magical reasons – such as the averaging out of flat and sharp voices – a choir can sound far better than its individual members’ talents might suggest. The result is self-transcendence: the thing only works on a level bigger than oneself.

È vero, cantare in un coro risolleva lo spirito. Si è in compagnia, si sa d’essere indispensabili. E fa anche bene alla salute.

Choral singing calms the heart and boosts endorphin levels. It improves lung function. It increases pain thresholds and reduces the need for pain medication.

Per dirla con le parole di Bian Eno

I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor…there are physiological benefits, obviously: You use your lungs in a way that you probably don’t for the rest of your day, breathing deeply and openly. And there are psychological benefits, too: Singing aloud leaves you with a sense of levity and contentedness. And then there are what I would call “civilizational benefits.” When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings — to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

Domani (22 giugno 2018) il coro dell’Università di Genova di cui faccio parte interverrà a Other Worlds, concerto al Teatro Carlo Felice tutto dedicato alle colonne sonore dei videogiochi, da Final Fantasy a Skyrim. Sarà il nostro primissimo concerto. Ce la metteremo tutta. Non saremo perfetti, però fin qui ci siamo divertiti. Tanto. Speriamo di vederti in teatro!