I wanted to write about some wonderful sounds. Not the ‘ I remember the first time I heard Joy Division and it totally blew my mind’ type post (though I can do that if you want me to) but the times I’ve heard a sound or noise that’s caught me totally unaware and stops me to try and take it in. And this is the first one.
We were at a roller disco party for one of my eldest daughter’s friends in a large sports hall, like a school/college gymnasium. The basic idea is the kids (and grown ups!) strap on a pair of skates and go round and round in circles whilst some music plays. It finishes, there’s cake, you go home happy. A boy in his late teens doles out the skates to everyone then sits in a plastic chair, texting his mates whilst an ipod plays chart hits through a little portable speaker.
The last time I went to a roller disco, indeed was on rollerskates, was 25 years ago but I was keen to put on a pair and slowly made my way around whilst my eldest and her friends (and their parents) went around with the utmost of skill. There is something to be said about how great skating can make you feel – gliding along inches above the floor with the minimum of effort is somewhat akin to the feeling of flying. And it was whilst I was slowly glding around the periphery of the hall I became aware of the sound around me.
The little speaker and ipod were playing Katy Perry‘s Teenage Dream but I could only just faintly hear it as the sound that was filling the hall was that of twenty or so 8 and 9 year olds singing along to the chorus at the top of their voices. As they were skating around the hall their voices filled up the reverbarent space of the large room and each word took on this incredible air of joy as it was sung out, hanging in the massive space above their heads, their shoulders moving from side to side as they coasted across the floor.
It really was a wonderful sound and I found myself marvelling at it and was caught up in their bliss – you could only smile at how happy, how free it felt. As a parent, you understand that there is no greater sound than that of your children laughing. Thinking about it now, I just feel totally taken away by how incredible it was and I’m not sure why. Whether it was the energy or the power of their joy or just the sound itself.