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Lockdown Blog 1: A chance to look back on 2019

My scratch map of 2019 King’s Singer destinations

Hello everyone,

I am currently in Warwickshire in my family home, self-isolating as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It is a scary and very strange time, but I am grateful to be with my family, and to have some time to reflect on 2019.

And I have much to be grateful for! About two years ago, Pat called me to ask me to audition for The King’s Singers! A few months later, I was offered the Second Countertenor job and my life drastically changed in an instant. It’s totally different to my old way of life: tonnes of travel, self-employment, learning more types of music than I knew existed, working from home, not having IT support at the drop of a hat, eating supper at 5 pm…the list could go on!

I thought it would be fun to let you know about some of the things from my first year that I am most grateful for…

Top of the list are the wonderful friends I have made: my five fellow King’s Singers, our wonderful archivist Manfred and his wife Sigrid, and our colleagues at Intermusica to name just a few!

A close second, is the fact that I have developed the knowledge and confidence to teach choirs all over the world. If you had told me two years ago that I’d have to stand up in front of large groups of choristers and give constructive criticism, I would have run a mile! But it was something that I always secretly wanted to be able to do. I was lucky (in hindsight) to have been thrown in at the deep end as, in the first workshop I led, Pat (who was buddying me) decided he needed the loo 1 minute in, so I had to go solo for the first few minutes!

I am also very grateful to have the opportunity work closely with our charity, The King’s Singers Global Foundation. Over the past year we have been working very hard to review the workings of the charity. It has been so exciting developing our Finding Harmony Ambassadors project in which we are working with three musical charities that are creating social cohesion through the power of music. And thank you to our many many donors who have generously supported the work of the Foundation.

I am also grateful to have met so many fans from across the world. It is heart-warming to hear how our music is appreciated by people including stories from many who have said that The King’s Singers has helped them through dark times. Our fans are also very generous; on more than one occasion, I have had gluten-free home-baked goods delivered to my dressing room :-) In the middle of a long patch away from home, home-baked goods mean the world!

Our worldwide travel is of course also a complete joy, and something which I feel particularly grateful for given the current locked-down state of the world. It will be unsurprising to those of you that know me well, to see that I have summarised a year of travel with some stats:

Year2019
Number of pieces performed1891
Number of pieces of music learned over 300 (only 2700 more to go in the King’s Singers library)
Number of concerts98
CollaborationsAbel Selacoe
Ed Gardner and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Armonico Consort
NDR Radiophilharmonie
Verdi Orchestra
Wallis Guinta
Number of services1
Number of lectures2
Days in sub-minus-30 celsius4
Number of summer schools1
Number of masterclasses24
Rounds of bowling3
Rounds of bowling in which I came last3
Number of joint performances with local choirs15
Number of flights92
Number of times I was told I look 18many! (especially in Italy)
Countries visited23

USA
Canada
France
Russia
Netherlands
Germany
Hungary
Italy
England
Poland
Switzerland
Northern Ireland
Austria
Japan
Hong Kong
China
Guernsey
Scotland
Czechia
Belgium
Kosovo
Faroe Islands
Romania
US States visited15

OR
WA
KS
IA
IL
OH
MI
LA
AZ
NY
DE
MO
RI
CA
Number of times someone told me they like my accent:uncountable
Number of days doing recording sessions7
Number of discs recorded2

The Library Vol. 1, and Finding Harmony
Number of music video recording days3
Languages sung21 

English
Latin
Estonian
French
Spanish
Catalan
German
Japanese
Italian
Finnish
Georgian
Gaelic
Mexican
Yiddish
Xhosa
Zulu
Cantonese
Mandarin
Korean
Faroese
Hungarian
and even, Coyote and Jazz Band!
Grammy Ceremonies attended1
Number of 30th birthdays spent in Lucerne, Switzerland1 (and soon to be two as Jules and I realised that he, like me, will spend his 30th birthday there too!)
Number of times I was told told I look like Harry Pottertoo many to list
Number of times asked to pose for a selfie with someone’s Harry Potter glasses(thankfully only) 1

I hope you enjoyed those! It was good fun putting them together.

And I hope that I get to see you again soon.

Until then,

Eddie

Instagram: @edwardbutton1

 
 
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