The Kid Should See This

Percussive thunderstorm simulations inspired by the Kearsney College Choir

At the World Choir Games in 2008, South Africa’s Kearsney College Choir of school boys, aged 13 -18, performed their simulation of a thunderstorm before a pop choral performance of Toto’s Africa. The storm sound effects are created with their snapping fingers, clapping their hands on their legs, and the coordinated stomps of their feet. Bird and other animal sounds are whistled and vocalized.

In March 2009 at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, composer Eric Whitacre conducted the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, The St. Olaf Choir, and the Minnesota High School Honors Choir in a performance of Cloudburst. The storm starts just after 5m30s:

Inspired by the two above, there have been many other percussive thunderstorm performances that have since gone viral, including this one by Slovenia’s Perpetuum Jazzile in 2008:

And this one by Los Angeles’ Angel City Chorale in 2013:

This seems like a fun activity for any choir or class to try out, though we’re guessing the effect doesn’t always have to be paired with Toto. Might we suggest Singin’ in the Rain? And for more inspiration, check out The Secret World of Foley, Hummingbird: Diego Stocco, Sound Magician, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (a sort of flashmob), and Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s Didn’t It Rain.

h/t Kottke.

🌈 Related videos

Will Computers Ever Hear Like People Do?

Rion Nakaya

Etta James: Something’s Got a Hold On Me

Rion Nakaya

B.B. King & Lucille: Nobody Loves Me But My Mother

Rion Nakaya

Nine animal sounds and Super Mario World sound effects created with a violin

Rion Nakaya

Wes Montgomery: Four on Six (1965)

Rion Nakaya

Aretha Franklin sings Won’t Be Long (1964)

Rion Nakaya

Hummingbird: Diego Stocco, Sound Magician

Rion Nakaya

What A Wonderful World: Jon Batiste live at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival

Rion Nakaya

Dizzy Gillespie & the Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show (1980)

Rion Nakaya

Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.