Rehearsals suspended and concerts cancelled at a moment’s notice! As the coronavirus took hold and we went into lockdown we looked for ways to keep some kind of music-making going. Internet rehearsals were out of the question because of the time lag. However, a recording was a possibility. This was achieved by each member of the choir recording their own part at home using a given musical template. Their experiences achieving this task were many and varied. Sitting in your own home singing your own part into your phone while listening to the accompaniment through headphones is not a comfortable experience for most choir singers. However they did it really well and a composite recording was achieved using a computer. The result is here for you to listen to.
The piece we’ve used is ‘Drop, Drop Slow Tears’ reputedly by Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). In spite of it being included in a hymn book at the time under his name, we don’t know to this day whether Gibbons was indeed the composer because of the botched compilation of the hymnal. Centuries later in 1906, however it was included under Gibbons’ name in the English Hymnal compiled by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Neil Robinson one of our members who took part in this recording sums up the importance of it at this time of uncertainty.
“It was due to be sung by Chetwynd Chamber Choir at their Ingestre Church concert in May 2020, but events took over. Its pathos and slow treatment of time passing are very timely, however, and Olly Lees, our leader, has therefore expertly and painstakingly knitted together 18 of our house-bound voices into the performance we are now sharing.