This week, I found myself on an overnight flight from São Paulo to New York City (returning from an incredible body music retreat that I can’t recommend highly enough).
During the night, I woke to glance at a screen showing our plane as a tiny dot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a moment of wonder, and perhaps some terror. How strange that, with a little cash and paperwork, we can find ourselves on any corner of the map that we choose.
Which gave me an idea for a visual prompt, a sort of crossword-style “put-your-name-on-the-map” challenge:
1) Start in the upper left-hand corner of this map, just above Alaska.
2) Spell your first name horizontally, one letter in each box.
3) When you’ve arrived at the last letter of your first name, start spelling your last name, vertically and down, from that very same box. (If you run out of boxes, just go back to the top and keep counting.)
5) When you arrive at the last letter of your last name — THIS IS YOUR BOX.
Your mission is to sing as if you were on this part of the Earth. Close your eyes, picture the terrain or ocean, imagine the sounds and smells of that particular place, unlike any other. And … SING!
(To clarify with a few examples: If your name were AMADO OHLAND, you’d find yourself somewhere near Antarctica. If your name were ZUZA GONÇALVES, you’d be floating in the Atlantic Ocean. If your name were KATE DIMBLEBY, you’d be in Greenland. LAUREN LANE would be in East Africa. And so on … )
So to review, the steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing as if you were in your name-determined location on the map.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers.
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about the time it takes to convince your redeye seat-mate to get up so you can finally get to the lavatory.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of how it felt to sing your piece.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-map]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-map” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “SSS Prompt 53: Sing Put Your Name on the Map.” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org .
Thank you, sweet singers!
Jascha & Amado