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Animaterra is a women's chorus in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, USA. We are a non-profit organization, formed by women to communicate through music of the world's traditions. We welcome all women in a community of song, reaching out to all people locally, regionally and globally. We offer an environment of learning and shared musical artistry in which women, whether beginners or experienced, can express themselves through music.

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“As Long As There’s Singing, There’s Hope”- our new cd!

May 28th 2014

Animaterra's New CD

Animaterra’s New CD

We are delighted to announce the release of our latest cd, “As Long As There’s Singing There’s Hope”. This is a compilation of the best of the past 7 years of concerts. Here is what our audio engineer, Eric Blackmer, had to say in our liner notes:

is a collection of live performances garnered from across six years of Animaterra concerts. The album begins, as do most Animaterra concerts, with a processional. Listen! Hear the women rowing nearer in Ise Oluwa until they are assemble on the risers. After a welcoming introduction the show usually starts off slow and stately, as with Ela La Ma. Where they will they go from there, only Animaterra knows.

  Animaterra’s head and heart is Allison Aldrich Smith. Officially, she is the music director but that doesn’t begin to describe her role. For Allison music is life and life is music. Her magic is that she teaches, enables and inspires ordinary people to deliver performances that are clearly above and beyond. Allison conducts and draws the choir and the audience to create transcendent musical events.

  Animaterra concerts are unique journeys. These singers soar in various directions- and their range is wide. They are likely to burst into a musical tour de force like Away Ye Merry Lassies, or shake your reality with 1000 Grandmothers, then touch the sublime with the Blue Green Hills of Earth, or bop you with reality, like  Cindy Kallet’s song I’m a Mammal, or captivate you with a very powerful rendition of Huddie Ledbetter’s Bring Me Little Water SilvieBaba Yetu, sung in Swahili, is unforgettable and brought down the house with a rousing standing ovation. 

  Animaterra will make you laugh and sing, and bring tears to your eyes. This unique women’s chorus will broaden your horizons with music from many and diverse world musical traditions. They will also entertain you with familiar songs. After you have been thrilled and awed, the choir will recess, singing, dancing, marching down the aisles, embracing, enthralling and celebrating the female spirit of the world. In the aftermath of an Animaterra concert there remains an aura of exquisite transcendent euphoria. 

  This is what we have tried to bring to you in this CD. May you enjoy it over and over. Sing along! Show your friends! Request Animaterra on your favorite radio station. Go tell it on the mountain! Let the good times roll! And remember: 

As long as there’s singing there’s hope!

The cd is available at regional stores in the Monadnock region, at our concerts and events, and from CD Baby:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/animaterrawomenschorus1

 

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When Friends Rejoice!

April 30th 2014

 

 

 

 

Animaterra Poster Spring 2014 copy

What a beautiful concert it will be! Songs of love, friendship, and community. The magnificent Theo Martey leading us in songs of his native Ghana. And the lovely, glowing voices of Animaterra! Details and ticket information are on the sidebar. We hope you will join us!

 

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Drum, Sing and Dance

March 24th 2014

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And what a time it was! On Saturday, March 22 Theo led us in a day-long workshop of music of Africa.

Theo Martey

Theo Marteyy-l

We started the day with an hour of continuous drumming, with Theo and his partner Namori- many participants had never done anything like it before, but came away energized and wanting more! Then Theo taught us songs from Ghana and other countries in Africa; we never quite believed we would learn five songs with drum accompaniment in a few short hours, but Theo’s way of repeating and slowing down until we got it helped us sing with confidence in short order.

IMG_0404About 30 members of Animaterra participated. We look forward to welcoming Theo and Namori back in May when they will perform with us in our concerts!

 

 

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Sing with Animaterra!

January 31st 2014

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There is still time to join us this season! See the sidebar for more information on how to Sing With Us!

It’s been a long winter! What better way to shake those winter blues and anticipate the spring than to join together with a group of amazing women in song? We are celebrating 17 years this season with a joyful spring concert whose theme is “When Friends Rejoice”: songs of friendship, love and community.

An exciting feature of this season is our guest teacher, Theo Martey. Born and raised in Ghana and now living in Manchester, NH, Theo is a warm and gifted teacher who will lead us in learning songs and dances from his native land at a workshop on March 8. He and his drummer will then join us in our spring concerts! Theo

Look at the sidebar under Events to learn more about our New and Returning Members reception on Tuesday, Feb. 11. New members can “taste” us for up to three weeks before making the commitment for the season! We hope you’ll join us!

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Well May the World Go, Pete Seeger

January 28th 2014

Go well, Pete Seeger.

Go well, Pete Seeger.

The world has lost a great man. Pete Seeger, legendary singer, banjo and guitar player, and activist, died Monday night, January 27, 2014, peacefully in his sleep at age 94. Words cannot begin to express the profound influence he has had on music, the environment, the civil rights movement, and in countless individual lives. Animaterra Women’s Chorus exists in part because of the spirit of world harmony through music that he imparted through the past six decades. We owe much to him, and we will strive to honor his memory and his message through our music and actions.

Animaterra will honor his memory tonight, January 28, at Animaterra Song Night (details in Events side bar). I won’t try to say more here, except to say, Thank you, Pete, for everything.

Here’s a song of his that I’ve always loved (the link takes us to an interview with Pete talking, and ending with an excerpt from this song):

WELL MAY THE WORLD GO

Chorus (and after each verse):
Well may the world go,
The world go, the world go,
Well may the world go,
When I’m far away.

Well may the skiers turn,
The swimmers churn, the lovers burn
Peace, may the generals learn
When I’m far away.

Sweet may the fiddle sound
The banjo play the old hoe down
Dancers swing round and round
When I’m far away.

Fresh may the breezes blow
Clear may the streams flow
Blue above, green below
When I’m far away.

Words and Music by Pete Seeger (1973)
(c) 1973 by Stormking Music Inc.

 

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If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?

January 2nd 2014

Solstice

 

 

AS I write, it is freezing cold and snowing hard. Up to 12 inches are predicted, with frigid temperatures. It’s hard to imagine the sweet temperatures and rainbow of colors of mid-May, but assuredly it will come! Here at Animaterra Central we are developing a lovely Spring program of wonderful music.

We are excited to be inviting Theo Martey to lead a workshop in March on music and dance from his native Ghana. The songs we learn will be an important centerpiece to the program. Other songs will travel to other lands and times: several from past concerts, especially featuring our upcoming new “best of” cd! Some new and old surprises will tickle our spring fever as well.

 

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Welcome Yule!

December 9th 2013

It was a glorious concert! Thanks to all who came, and celebrated with us. As a seasonal gift to you all, here is one of the readings from the concerts:

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

 

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

 

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Animaterra Winter 2013 Concert: Here in This Place

November 18th 2013

Winter 2013 concert poster (1)

We are excited about our upcoming concerts in Keene and Peterborough! Come hear songs of home, place, and our “inner landscape”. This season features many living songwriters, and some recently departed, as well as music of the world’s traditions, including India, England, the Sephardic tradition, and South Africa. For more information, see our “Upcoming Events” on the sidebar.

 

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November 18th 2013

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Singing mermaids?

November 5th 2013

mermaids
“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.”

T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

It’s November, and here in New Hampshire the leaves are mostly off the trees, the frost has finally killed the garden and the wood stove is doing what it can to warm us as we brace for another winter. It also means that Animaterra is in full swing to prepare for the concerts, just a little over one month from now. Our rehearsals are intense, polishing and reviewing as many songs as we can in an evening, working on phrasing, dynamics and blend. We are somewhat informal in our expectations, and all are welcome, but we strive for beauty and excellence in our performances. So feelings can run high, at the same time that the November blahs are setting in. And the cold and flu season is here, and so often our ranks are thin. But still we sing!

 

We can let our spirits droop like J. Alfred Prufrock, or we can smile and sing, each to each. I hear time and again from singers who arrive feeling heavy with the weight of their lives, who feel energized and brighter after a rehearsal!

 

Whether or not we are in a chorus or choir, we can sing each to each, in gatherings, religious or social events, even pubs and street corners. We can bring our songs home, sing to our children, our partners, our pets, to ourselves. Just try it! Lift up your voice in song!


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