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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

May 8, 2020

Virtual virtuosity?

evelyn @ 1:06 pm

Since the last blog entry, I have been working non-stop. Far from being a failure, that first virtual Mass was surprisingly well-received by our congregation, and spurred us on to greater efforts. Holy Week hit us in a way it never had before (and I hope never will again!) but we did our best to rise to the occasion. Our virtual Vigil had all its psalms plus a bit of class with a Handel violin and piano movement by a husband-and-wife team. These were the only two people working together in the same household. Everyone else was on his or her own, receiving backing tracks, putting the headphones on and singing into a mobile phone. All the vocal tracks were then emailed to the two sound mixers (I’m one of them) who put them all together and sent the resulting ‘choral’ music files to the technicians who actually ran the streaming.

Since then, we’ve kept going, refining all the time. I found the sound mixing very difficult at first, but am improving all the time, to the point where I think of re-opened churches with an unexpected twinge of disappointment. However, I will be pleased when I can stop wearing my eyes out looking at wavy lines.

All this is nothing new, of course. Virtual choirs are streaming all over the world, and ours is a very amateur effort. But the importance here is that we are the regular singers and musicians of our parish, still doing our job although all locked down separately. I think this is appreciated by the viewing congregation. Or might they be grumbling that even with the church closed, they can’t get rid of us?

PS If you want a sample, try this (Mass starts about 6-and-a-quarter minutes in):

Mass 03rd May 2020 – 4th Sunday of Easter

4th Sunday of Easter

???????????? St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow ??????, 3 ?????? 2020 ?.

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