I just watched the film “The Singing Revolution” for the second time. Made in 2007, it is a documentary about the nonviolent Singing Revolution in Estonia. The seeds of Estonia’s successful revolution against the occupying Soviet Union in 1991 were cultivated in yearly song festivals, in which hundreds of thousands of Estonians participate.
For any tiny nation to assert their independence against a powerful occupying government is an inspiring story. For Estonia to have formed, held, and nurtured a national identity characterized by strength in singing is deeply inspiring to me personally, as someone whose will to sing is strong, but whose voice is weak. (I watched the film this evening nervously realizing that my voice seems to have sustained some degree of injury from the general anesthesia from the operation a week ago.)
I am excited to be putting together a concert of Estonian music that the Burlington Choral Society will sing in the spring of 2014, one that will include Tõnu Kõrvits’ beautiful Kreek’s Notebook, a piece or two by Arvo Pärt, and possibly a premiere of a new piece.
May we all gain strength through singing!