Recording The Oranta Singers in Scarborough, Ontario
On the 10th and 11th of June, I began production on a recording of a Divine Liturgy performed by The Oranta Singers, an a capella choir from Toronto. On a warm Toronto day, we set up in the cool and quiet chapel of St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough, which is a beautiful acoustic space near the shores of Lake Ontario. I was assisted in the recording by Zenon Waschuk, who is a well-known audio engineer in Toronto.
The Oranta Singers are conducted by Zhanna Zinchenko, with Rev. Ivan Trush, who sang the celebrant’s parts of the liturgy.
The liturgy, itself, is the composition of Sr. Christine Dudych, SSMI, who is, full disclosure, my younger sister.
The recording of this type of work is challenging for a number of reasons. First, its length. At approximately an hour, there is a lot of text and music for a choir to articulate, particularly one which is unaccompanied. Sr. Christine had the work segmented in such a way that we were able to move through the sections as efficiently as possible while paying attention to issues of pitch and diction and interpretation. The singers proved to be up to the task and we managed to record all of the sections in 2 days. Quite a feat!
After picking through all the takes, Sr. Christine and I set upon the task of editing, which was completed in a few weeks after the recording. Once that was done, I mixed and mastered the final version and it was sent to Polar Bear Productions in Winnipeg for replication.
Many thanks to Zhanna Zinchenko and the Oranta Singers and to Fr. Ivan Trush for their diligence and patience. Also, thanks to Zenon Waschuk for his invaluable assistance. We made a great team!
And, of course, to Sr. Christine for bringing me onto the project.
Here’s an excerpt from the recording:
And some photos from the session….