Good afternoon. It has all gone a bit quiet this week, is everyone alright? Perhaps you are just frozen, it has been chilly out. It’s nice to see your other interests and talents coming to the fore. Lots of you displaying craft and artistic skill. Catherine points us to “happy little clouds and a gentle voice” https://www.youtube.com/user/BobRossInc/featured
Perhaps when we meet again we should have an exhibition.
This week we are going to focus on I carry your heart. Toby Young is a young(ish) composer/arranger who has done work for groups like The Kings Singers and Voces 8. I carry your heart was commissioned by The Kings Men, who are the altos, tenors and basses of Kings’ College Choir.
There are five videos for you to watch, which can all be found on the Newstead Abbey Singers video playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9Gytr4q-Y6SzafzUHpXFYlu1GHdsu9RN or through the individual links.
I have done a new warm up video https://youtu.be/RgIJ1KGk43s and a round Dona nobis pacem https://youtu.be/zbj0ZiTy65c (the music can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4vmag37v39djbv/Dona%20nobis.pdf?dl=0)
The text of I carry your heart is by the American poet e.e.cummings, who was quite distinctive in both the content of his poetry and the lack of capital letters and unusual punctuation. Toby Young adapts and shortens the poem in his setting of this poem that is about love in its purest form. I have prepared a sheet with the original poem in its entirety and the “lyrics” of the setting here https://www.dropbox.com/s/fzle83f9y8mplza/I%20carry%20your%20heart.pdf?dl=0
You can hear e.e.cummings reading his own poem https://youtu.be/Q4Qb9XmHXX4
There is a recording of the version that we attempt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z9iTWZQc_I
I thought that you might enjoy the original sung by The Kings Men (down a tone) https://youtu.be/wGobOdh4dyk
Both versions give you an idea of the style that we should be aiming for. In both performances there is precision of ensemble and attention to balance. Your attention is drawn to the tune, whichever part it might be in but little details are clear. e.g the alto part in bars 36-40. Before any of that can be achieved everyone needs to be sure of the notes.
As last week there are audio files to assist you in your learning. A full, equally balanced version and one with each part highlighted.
I was contacted last week by a Michael Dobbs regarding making a choir remote video.
I’m a retired videomaker living not too far away in Woodborough. In spite of retirement, I still produce a few free community videos for good causes – see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz3TUg6N9Q03mtU-OHBVVBg/videos Unfortunately the current situation rather limits my subject matter – and then I noticed the new phenomenon of virtual choirs on YouTube. I’m sure that you’ve seen these, but if not, you can see an example at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xWUL4N26vM .
This is something I’d like to have a go at, and I have the video editing skills and facilities, so all I need now are performers – hence the contact!
The procedure involves each participant recording themselves singing (at home) whilst listening to a backing track via headphone or an earpiece. Each recording would then be emailed to me and edited into a virtual choir video for publishing on YouTube – all with the utmost social distancing! Hopefully all of the singers would enjoy the experience and your choir would get some extra publicity for the post-lockdown recovery.
If you think some of your members might be interested, please get in touch by email (email@example.com) or by phone on 0115 9652376 to have a chat.
Please note that this is my hobby, and that these community video services are provided completely free of charge.
If you are interested in having a go please contact me and I will set it in motion. We would do something in just four parts, short and simple. I would sent out a master track; you would have to film yourself singing with it and sending it to me and I would send the recordings to Michael.
Have a good week, the weather is going to be warmer.