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Wednesday, July 15

Not Another Virtual Choir


Be careful what you wish for.

Around about a month ago, I wished that I could replace the missing end-of-year school show at my children's primary school with a virtual choir... so I worked out how to make that happen, asked for the right help and involvement, and here we are with not one, but two virtual choir recordings complete and a whole lot of exhaustion to boot.

I think it was worth it. I think we made something special that the people involved love and that captured a defiant spirit of a community.

I think we drove ourselves nuts making it, and put in more work than we expected to, having overcommitted to an over ambitious project.

But I like a challenge.

I learned a lot about how vulnerable singing can make people feel. Oddly, singing is something that nearly everyone loves to do. It's something you can hurt people by criticising, and it's something that makes people feel good and free... but so insecure. People are both frightened of singing up, and need to do so.

Seeing all the performances we wove together, along with the moments before where people were worriedly psyching themselves up to do it, was a hugely humbling experience. It was a privilege to be allowed access to everyone's voices, and I treated these recordings with a huge amount of respect. I had some recordings that I simply could not fix for technical reasons, and one or two acts of utter disrespect to the efforts of the project came through from participants I shall not name.

We tried to provide all the instructions, but instructions + common sense does not always add up to the right results... luckily there were a lot of ways to undo mistakes in post-production, and I tried to restore people's efforts to the level they would have been had there been more time to learn, record, and respond to the sound coming from everyone else.

In the next post, I'll offer some thoughts on how this project succeeded.





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