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Spooky Men on the Absurdity & Grandeur of the 'Modern Male'

Spooky Men on the Absurdity & Grandeur of the 'Modern Male'

Quirky commentary from the Spookmeister of The Spooky Men's Chorale, Stephen Taberner

Armed only with their voices, whether they’re being silly and humorous or blissfully tender-hearted, The Spooky Men’s Chorale strike a deeply human chord.

Regularly commentating on the absurdity and grandeur of the modern male in their music, Stephen Taberner, Spookmeister from Spooky Men’s Chorale explores that very concept in his quintessentially quirky way via a chook called Rex, and the lessons learned from his backyard behaviours. 

Take it away, Spookmeister!

What is a man? What is a chicken? What is a rooster? 

All of this went through my mind when me and my housemates acquired Rex, who was, as it turned out, a totally unnecessary addition to our little flock of three chooks. I had often wondered what was elementally irreducible about the male experience, and had often come down to the fact that we are:

1. Larger and hairier than the others
2. Secondary to the processes of reproduction

Oh, and we have lower voices, too. 

But not Rex, who was airlifted into a scenario where he was entirely useless, though vocal. 

He had a great sense of ceremony as well, though as much as we tried, we couldn’t convince him that we knew the sun was coming up without his announcements. Also, the girls had the power issues sorted, there was a boss scary chook, and the others. And they ate and did cloaca business with no drama at all. Rex basically just strutted around near them, like an out of work security guard, or a spare rooster. 

There’s the beauty and danger of the male experience. 

If only Rex had a hobby, like stamp collecting, he could show the chooks and they could pretend to be interested. If only he had a grand project, like building the Taj Mahal, he’d be too busy to be trying to establish his non-existent control over the pecking order. Instead he was unemployed, and I guess you know what happens when good roosters go bad - he began random assaults on housemates and small children, and you can guess the rest.

But I felt for Rex, and it had so many resonances in terms of the Spooky Mythology.

Men are OK, or they can be OK so long as they avoid a few key pitfalls, mostly in the categories of: 

1. Taking yourself too seriously
2. Being mean to other people (or chooks) 

Singing helps, because it makes nice sounds and makes us think we are nice. And then, perhaps we are. 

At other times, we build large and useless structures in our backyards, which circumvents the need to announce the dawn with mighty calls, or the desire to peck people. All is then well, and we hope to keep it that way.

Confused? Intrigued? Find out why The Spooky Men’s Chorale has won over audiences internationally with its blend of beautiful ballads, Georgian table songs and tongue-in-cheek anthems when they perform in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on Thursday 20 June.

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