“My name is Dr Tania S. Smith, and I’m from Calgary, Canada. I have been singing for pleasure since I was a child. I had a father whose hobby was collecting music. In junior high and high school, I played the flute and trombone and participated in school choirs. As a teenager I taught myself some basic accordion skills, and in my twenties, I accompanied myself singing Finnish folk songs and doing Finnish folk dance at the Heritage Festival in Edmonton. In my 30s I joined the Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players in Calgary, then the Bach Choir in Calgary.
More recently I’ve been proud to sing in one of the finest church choirs in the city at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, directed by Dr. Neil Cockburn, a world-class organist. Our church choir went on a tour in summer of 2019 to sing at Salisbury Cathedral and Christ Church Dublin for one week each, and that was an amazing opportunity to build further confidence. In my career, I work full time as a research professor of communication studies at the University of Calgary. One of my strong interests is in the teaching and learning of verbal eloquence in Britain, 1650 to 1800. It made perfect sense that I fell in love with the music of J. S. Bach, Handel, Purcell, Monteverdi and Vivaldi.
It has been a creative pastime for me to develop voice track recordings of my favorite renaissance and baroque music, blend them with quality accompaniment tracks, and publish them with inspiring images on YouTube. Your Accompanist tracks have been an important part of my vocal development since my mid-40s when I took up singing lessons. I am still developing as an amateur, and I am still on the path to refining my skills. I strongly believe we all ought to share our passions and talents even while they are still in development. Even my imperfections are part of the performance; they are a testament to my willingness to embrace the fullness of humanity, including our vulnerability. I encourage us all to realize that at any age and stage in life, we can learn and develop musically. I hope you will enjoy my aspiration to beauty and my personal vocal interpretations of the music.”
Two daughters of this aged stream are we,
And both our sea-green locks have comb’d for thee
Come, come stay with us an hour or two,
What danger from so sweet a foe?
Come, come stay with us and share
What pleasures in the flood appear.
We’ll beat the waters till they bound
and circle round.
Libretto by John Dryden
CONTEXT: “Act 4, Scene 2. The Wood — ARTHUR, having first been warned by Merlin that everything he sees is illusion, is left alone in the wood under the watchful eye of Philidel, who can reveal any evil spirits with a wave of Merlin’s wand. Arthur is amazed that instead of the horrors and dangers he had expected, he hears soft music and sees a golden bridge spanning a silver stream. Though suspecting a trap, he approaches the bridge. Two sirens naked to the waist, emerge, begging him to lay aside his sword and join them…. Though sorely tempted, Arthur resists and presses on.” Source: http://www.impresario.ch/libretto/libpurkin_e.htm
Image: “mermaid” by HeedingtheMuses, July 15, 2013, on Flickr with Creative Commons license at https://flic.kr/p/faaz1k
Recording: vocals via Zoom H2N recorder, processed in Acoustica Standard Edition, mixed in Audacity.
Sing a duet with Tania
If you are a soprano and you would like to sing along with Tania on the other part, you can find both solo edits on her YouTube channel.
Sing with a friend
You’ll find our piano accompaniment is ready whenever you are to make a start on your own interpretation. Two Daughters of This Aged Stream, by Purcell.