Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Melodyne

I'm having a lovely sit-down before bed with a nice cup of tea and a piece of cheese. Don't they say you shouldn't eat cheese before bed to avoid nightmares? They also say drinking tea late at night is pretty bad for you. I'll be peeing all night. Wide awake from the caffeine. Waking up from a nightmare every six seconds. Oh well.

I've been in Worthing all day, working my way through Movement Two of the Pepys Motet with PK. The first studio sessions for this project were around a year ago. We're certainly not rushing to get it out to the masses! It is also the most painstakingly slow mixing process. The work is scored for 20 soloists from a whole gamut of musical backgrounds... Soul, musical theatre, opera, folk singers. It would be an immensely exciting and engulfing work to hear live but because the singers are all performing a unique line, it's almost impossible to create something with the sonic unity required for a recording. It's a'capella as well, so there are no musical instruments to bring everything together. We've made the bold choice, therefore, to Melodyne every voice. The tiniest tuning discrepancies inherent in 20 vocalists from different worlds can come together to create a cloudy sound world, but I'm after absolute rhythmic and musical precision, and a sonic experience unlike anything heard before. I realise that by tuning classical singers I'm performing a deeply sacrilegious act, which would have the people at Radio 3 spinning out of control... But I love it!

Wait until you hear the results. People considered the likes of Steve Reich to be disrespectful because they used modern recording techniques. We are doing the very same thing! I think the world could prove to be a little slower in cottoning onto my ground-breaking genius, but you never know!

I am rather excited... Whilst we were in the studio today, six new spoken testimonies came in from people in Commonwealth Countries. Invisible Voices ought to be a hugely exciting composition, if we can just get the right balance of emotion, documentary and musical chutzpah!

And so to bed...

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