Dowsing for Musicians

By Gav Sirisena, Bass Guitar

The Dowsing Sound Collective is in many ways I'd imagine, a very different experience from the perspective of a musician than it is from that of a singer. Yet at the same time, when I'm faced with (somewhat intimidatingly!) 90+ individuals singing because they love it, smiling because they're happy and dancing because the music is good then I think to myself that we are all sharing the same immensely uplifting but abstract experience. Of course, any attempt to quantify and describe this through the limited medium of language (such as this blog) will inevitably differentiate and separate the thing we seek to describe into a mere personal interpretation.

Nonetheless, when I come away from a rehearsal like the one last night, I'm reminded why I'm here. I love music. I REALLY love music and when I'm spending a Tuesday evening with however many people there are in this thing now, I realise that we all really love music. That's why we're there and that's what we definitely share.

Sure, the band don't perhaps rehearse quite as much or as diligently as the choir do. Our arrangements are seemingly more 'fluid' and often forgotten or made up on the spot. In fact, I had a conversation with an anonymous band member last night (he plays the electric guitar) and we agreed that our MD has some kind of cunning plan to keep us on our toes to foster the sense of random spontaneity and improvisational possibility that has always been a feature of this group. It's one that I love and it's one that terrifies me simultaneously. That feeling that you never quite know what is going to happen is always at the back of your mind and sometimes things just happen. Like when I thought Andrea was saying: "We're going too slow!" during one song to which I responded dutifully by speeding up, when in fact she was saying: "We're speeding up". Other times, somehow, SOMEHOW, we just all end a song at the same time despite sharing looks of utter confusion, except Paul our drummer; he just grins, constantly. And that sums it up really. Whether musician, singer or anyone else. Music makes us smile.

I've been in many bands over the years, and I thought that when one of them had 12 members that that was a lot. It was a logistical nightmare and it was a challenge to make music together sometimes. I like to see the Dowsing Sound Collective as a band with 100 singers (though I'm not sure everyone else would) and the logistics of that are unfathomable to me, yet they must be fathomable to someone because it happens and it comes together and when that many people come together with that much passion and energy and that much love and enthusiasm, something is happening that is indescribable in words so I will stop trying and just enjoy every moment, even the terrifyingly uncertain ones.