Someone I follow on Twitter shared Elizabeth Kingston’s discovery of sea chanty TikTok and I fell down an audio rabbit hole because TikTok has a handy feature where you can explore all the forks and merges. These spontaneous collaborations and similar wonders, like the distant choir (and cello) videos that have popped up on YouTube as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are, to my mind, the best of the Internet.

Luke Taylor’s simple addition of his bass to Nathan Evans’ original rendition of The Wellerman reminded me of an event from the before times preserved in the Internet Archive: Shannon Campbell offered one of her songs, “Dreaming of Violets,” to the Internet, Scott Andrew LePera downloaded it and gave it a twiddle. The result, a synergy more than the sum of its parts:

And it reminded me of a small gathering around a fire: a voice rising quietly in song, and one after the other joining in harmony.

Humans are an amazing, creative, gregarious species.

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