Multi-tracking chant experiment

This is a brief experiment with multi-tracking chant.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F19235111 Creator lucis optime (English) by artsyhonker

You see, I’ve got this hare-brained idea about podcasting a sung Compline online, possibly in some kind of Whitacre-style virtual choir. That’s hard to coordinate, with chant: the pulse is directed by the words, so metronome markings are no help, for starters. But gathering together a little schola cantorum to come and sing with me in person once a week or once a month seems equally daunting. And I worry that singing Compline by myself is just going to sound a bit daft; there are too many responsorial bits, really.

So I thought I’d take something simple and see whether I can sing chant with myself, so to speak. In went the headphones and out came the hymnal to select something I’d not sung before. The results are… instructive, really. This will need a lot of work on intonation and timing before I’m happy to do an entire Compline. I did actually cheat and “mute” some sections of some voices in one or two places where the timing was just unbearably out of sync; I didn’t do any other fancy stuff, though. What you hear is what I sang.

I guess if I want an online Compline to be a recording of an actual prayer, rather than something that takes hours of editing and re-recording to get into acceptable shape for posting online, I need to find some people to sing with me, or get used to the idea of singing alone.

There are, of course, other folks who put this sort of thing online. Most seem to be regular “Compline choirs” in the US, who rehearse regularly, or monastic groups with their daily Office available as podcasts. I’m not entirely sure how what I want to offer would be significantly different, and maybe I need to figure that out, too. On a very basic level, I’d like it to be something that encourages people to join in. That means providing links to the text and preferably to notation with the text underlaid, not just an audio file as I have above.

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A little something for Canada Day

I had a horn teacher who had the custom, on Canada Day, of taking his canoe out to the middle of the lake and playing “O Canada” on the horn.

I lack a boat, the nearest lake has rather a lot of traffic noise and I’m a bit disorganised. So instead, here is a recording of me playing “O Canada” on the serpent.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F18238039 O Canada by artsyhonker

With Merry Glee

Over two months after the actual performance, I’m finally sorting through some of the music the Brigantia Consort performed this summer.

The first track went up to Soundcloud just over a week ago; since then it has had 48 plays and six downloads. I promise you only one of the plays was me! I didn’t advertise it very widely, and I know it might seem like small beans, but if those are unique plays rather than duplicates it has already been heard by over double the number of people who came to the concert. A larger concert audience would of course have been good (apparently, there was some sort of game involving kicking a ball around happening at the same time — who knew it would affect our numbers?), but being able to reach people who couldn’t be there is wonderful. The recordings were made, with the help of Dearest Button-Pusher, on a little Olympus LS-10 linear PCM recorder.
I’m not sure whether we’ll keep using Soundcloud, or move to something like Bandcamp. It seems like Soundcloud is great for getting rough tracks out there quickly, while Bandcamp might be better for a more polished album with artwork and so on, or at least fewer sirens than on “She’s Like the Swallow”. I love Steve Lawson‘s approach of putting all of his stuff on Bandcamp with a pay-what-you-will label. As an aside, I also really have him to thank for making me aware of Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and his article on Talking About Awesome Things gave me a major kick up the backside.
Coming soon: a way for people to give money to Brigantia Consort. That will probably start with a PayPal button, unless someone can tell me what the cool kids are doing these days.
Today I blogged ever so briefly on She’s Like the Swallow; it will be interesting to see what the publicity there, and here, does to the Soundcloud stats.