I particularly love watching the choir interact as friends. I genuinely feel like I've brought a group of people into each others' lives, and that's one of the most important things I think it's possible to do for people.
It was the first day that our new singer, Llio, had done with the full group. Lli has one of my favourite voices in the world and I'm thrilled she's now part of the team. One of the more forthright tenors approached me afterwards and whispered in my ear, "new girl, Llio. She's a keeper!"
The atmosphere of the session was really good. We timed it very well. Sadly our soloist was unable to come today. Perhaps her coming would have made the day a lot more tiring. Who knows? Perhaps it will be better to record her separately when there aren't other distractions.
At the very end of the session we recorded a few vocal sound effects for the Pepys Motet. It's extraordinary what noises it's possible to create with the human voice. We evoked the sound of raging fires, thunder storms, winds and large objects plunging into water. The lovely Ruth then lent us her gospel chops for a solo in the Pepys which we'd been unable to record her singing at Sonica. It's from the start of the fourth movement; the part where Pepys' servant, Jane, wakes him up to tell him of a "great fire in the city" which has destroyed "above 300 houses."
It was the first time I'd heard all 20 voices on the recording together and it would appear that we have created a hugely unnerving, rather bizarre sound world, which I think could prove to be amazing. Ruth's solo added a quirky theatricality to her sequence. I wanted her to try and inhabit the character of a young serving girl, out of breath and terrified; stuttering, almost unable to get her words out. It's eccentric, brave and highly atmospheric. Exciting biting as my dad would say.
That's probably about all I can say. I can feel my eyes closing, and have a full day on the White City Estate tomorrow teaching our contributors their songs. Thanks to everyone reading this for their good will messages over the last week. It would appear that art is worth every second of the hell it generates!