God so loved the world (J Stainer)
The COVID‑19 pandemic restrictions in 2020 and 2021 were hugely frustrating for everybody. For me the silver lining was the opportunity to create music in ways that I could not have dreamt of before lockdown. For over a year during the pandemic, the church services of City of Edinburgh Methodist Church could not take place in the building but were conducted via the videoconferencing software Zoom, and to that end I produced videos of the musical items for each service.
This was the anthem for Good Friday, 2 April 2021. It is a well‐known anthem from The Crucifixion by John Stainer. The singers are Morag Brownlie (soprano), Liz Taylor (contralto), Donald Taylor (tenor), and Mike Chad (bass), and I am conducting.
When music is sung remotely in this way, it is necessary to edit the voices individually as regards synchronisation, dynamics, and occasionally tuning. This is not regarded as “cheating”: rather, it is compensating for imperfections that only arose in the first place because the singers could not hear each other. I have corrected the tuning on only a few chords where singers happened to deviate from perfect tuning significantly and in opposite directions, which would not have happened in a live recording. I have not used any specialist music editing software such as Auto‐Tune. The anthem is sung by four voices, because the necessary editing for the full choir of 16 voices would have taken a prohibitively long time.
I thank Morag, Liz, Donald and Mike for their permissions to put this page on my website.
Thou who art the Lamb of God, thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.