Sireen Chamber Choir
Tallinn Music Week
March 2015
live review

In music, singing in harmony is the ultimate expression of the soul- it’s the most perfect human sound possible. The sound, especially tonight, is the architecture of possibility and a swoon of perfect noise to get lost in.

Guitar, bass and rums are exciting of course but there is something about the interlocking human voice that that affects the soul in a unique and powerful way. And an unaccompanied choir at the very top of its game like this is perfection and sonic bliss.

They claim that the Sireen choir strives for rich, feminine, captivating sound, using it for every musical era and style. The repertoire of Sireen comprises music from Renaissance to contemporary works and they do not lie. There is an air of the gothic about their approach and atmosphere and a very female sound to their melodies and voices that soar perfectly.

Founded in 2011, The Sireen (Arabic for good girl) choir from Tallinn are quite possibly the best choir in the world. Not for them the conventional hollering but a swooping and soaring sound that is utterly original and utterly captivating.

Even their entrance is quite something.

20 Women in classical black enter the converted museum space in the Tallinn city centre from the back and flutter to their podium like elegant bats. They assume position and then this amazing sounds pours out. This is no conventional choir. There is a left field twist to their music and a spectral haunting sound as all those voices lock together exploring the sheer beauty and melancholy and atmosphere of the human voice and in this particular the female voice.

Very much part of their fascinating young country’s culture – the choir takes special pride in working with young and talented Estonian composers like Evelin Seppar, Maria Kõrvits, Pärt Uusberg and Sander.

They claim on their website that ‘Beautiful and talented sirens from the most dangerous coasts of the Baltic Sea have found concert stages to be the best hunting grounds of sailors’ and for once the hyperbole is true. They create magic out of the human voice and a holy spectral sound that takes in elements of Morricione film score and avante jazz melodies to create a totally unique atmosphere all of their own.

They have also broken on through from the stuffy dusty traditions of the perceived world of choirs and play anywhere from there museum spaces to woodland to beaches – moulding their music to fit the event. This is reflected in their forward thinking music which oozes originality and perfection and has you hypnotised in its power and beauty.

All the best music takes you to another world and the very best creates a world you never want to leave as Sireen hang onto the end note in a hypnotising hum you are caught in a perfect moment that lasts for ever, a stunning mystery and a slice of human perfection.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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