Why does the sound of voices in harmony make such a direct pathway to the heart and soul?
An episode of TVNZ's The Naked Choir didn't have this effect on William Dart, but it did inspire him to hunt out his favourite a cappella music.
In this half hour, you'll hear one of the most popular acts at this year's Womad Festival – South African band The Soil, who first met in a classroom jam session – and the American group Chanticleer turn their talents to a shimmering version of Kurt Weil's 'Lost in the Stars'.
Gene Puerling, who sometimes arranges Chanticleer, also sings with the Hi-Los, whose version of a 1946 ballad by Walter Gross and Jack Lawrence delivers spine-tingling harmonies and sweet crushing dissonances that William enjoys.
Dunedin singer Dudley Benson's version of Hirini Melbourne's 'Pipi Manu E' features his own voice, a male vocal quartet, a beatboxer and assorted bird calls and whistles and San Francisco group The Bobs put the 'helter' into The Beatles' 'Helter Skelter'.
You'll also hear the rough, uncluttered two-part singing of The Copper Family from Sussex in a 1951 BBC recording and vocal quartet The Persuasions – who were discovered by Frank Zappa – relaxing into an old Drifter's classic.
'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
'Lost in the Stars' (Weill arr Puerling) – Chanticleer
Lost in the Stars
'Tenderly' (Gross/Lawrence) – The Hi-Lo's
The Hi-Lo's Volume Two
'Pipi Manu E' (Melbourne) – Dudley Benson
Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne
'The Brisk and Bonny Lad' (Trad) – The Copper Family
Come Write Me Down
'The Foxhunt' (Trad) – The Young Tradition
So Cheerfully Round
'Two Studies Op 39' (Goossens) – Jeremy Filsell
Goossens Piano Music
'Rosebud in June' (Trad) – Steeleye Span
Below the Salt
'Up on the Roof' (King/Goffin) – The Persuasions
'Helter Skelter' (Lennon/McCartney) – The Bobs
Sing the Songs of…
'Joy' (The Soil) – The Soil