The gruff caw of a crow. The shriek of a seagull. A woodpecker’s mechanical hammering against a tree. An abnormal chirp from a cricket.
Alone, these noises are aggravating sounds of the forest, tolerated by the other animals, but loathed, and certainly not anything for the audience to be subjected to at Eastern Hemlock Songfest. Acts on stage are reserved for tunes that are conventionally kind to the ears- the uniform buzz of a group of grasshoppers, the unvaried trill from a chorus of Warblers.
But together, these aggravating sounds of the forest can be harnessed, fused in just the right way, and transformed into pure pleasure. All it takes is some practice, a teacher willing to share the secrets of jazz music alongside students ready to learn, and a band’s belief that the whole group is greater than the sum of its parts. After that, it’s only a matter of time before Cricket’s Quartet has not only jazz on their side, but the audience at Songfest too. Hopefully they brought their dancing shoes.