Here's how it works:
1. singing son notifies his family and friends that they'll all gather on a specified date. In the meantime,
2. they should study up and listen obsessively to a specific recording, so that
3. on the specified date, they can bring themselves, their singing voices and relevant instruments, so that
4. everyone can play and sing the entire recording.
It is very edifying.
So far, it's been Bridge Over Troubled Water, Rumours (Fleetwood Mac), and tonight, Abbey Road. I have been at all three. What have I discovered?
- everyone doing their part really does make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
- every part doesn't have to be virtuouso, because see the above.
- homemade music is one of the very, very best things.
- so many talented friends!
- (I know I'm their mom, but) my kids are awesome.
- there is nothing whatsoever--nothing at all--better than making music with other people.
I got to play a lot of keyboard parts tonight. Highlights: obtaining The Beatles: Complete Scores, a truly miraculously complete volume; how awesome it is to actually play and wade around in the sonic volume of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"; how great it is to slide from "Polythene Pam" into "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" (ohhh look out!), just about as good as it is on the record; how sweet the beautiful piano parts in "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" and "The End" are; how beautifully people sang the gorgeous gorgeous harmonies on "Because."
As I said to the historian on the way home, there were a lot of wonderful parts. Some not wonderful parts, too, but the wonderful parts were really wonderful, and that's really the point.
Last: a friend who came to the Rumours party said that she kept trying to tell people how great it was, but after awhile it seemed like she was just bragging, so she stopped. Yep, that's kind of how this feels. But I have to tell you: it really was awesome.
In conclusion, let me leave you with this, just in case you need a refresher (we sounded almost this good):