“In The Bleak Midwinter” with Polycoro

January 20, 2021
JJD
Recording “In the Bleak Midwinter”

December ended with a recording of a beautiful rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter” arranged by Scott Reimer, and sung by 8 members of Winnipeg’s Polycoro. We were able to work under the strict COVID -19 lockdown guidelines, but it made for relatively slow progress on a long day of recording.

I constructed a makeshift recording booth in an alcove of the church hall that we were using to separate the vocal from the large acoustic of the space we were in. Normally a reverberant room is complementary to the sound of a choir, but in this case, because I was recording a single vocalist at a time, I would have been multiplying that reverb eight times and that would have been too much of a good thing. Also, because the video that was shot after the recording was located outdoors, I wanted to have the possibility of matching that “free-field” acoustic which, in the outdoors, means no acoustic at all. The large space also afforded us an element of safety when recording, with the aerosols produced by the singers having someplace to dissipate. Of course, there was a waiting period between singers of about 45 minutes to allow the air to exchange and settle and the booth was sanitized after each use.


Outside the Booth
Inside the Booth

Between singers, I had time to do the necessary sanitization of the recording area and was able to comp the vocal I had just recorded before the next singer came in. It was a busy day but the result was beautiful.

To view the final version with video shot by Laina Brown, click on the YouTube link below, or visit Polycoro’s Facebook page for this and other videos.


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