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Author Topic: Let's talk choral music.  (Read 17128 times)

pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #50 on: 24 Mar 2013, 10:42 »

Here's another concert:

German Romantic Church Music

Program:

Brahms - Geistliches Lied
Mendelssohn - Veni Domine
Mendelssohn - Verleih uns Frieden
Mendelssohn - Hear my Prayer
Reger - Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Rheinberger - Abendlied
Bruckner - Te Deum

Keble Chapel, Oxford, is remarkable building, and accordingly is Grade 1 listed.  The interior is tiled throughout in glazed tiles, so the acoustic is rather literally bathroom-like!  This makes it hard to record in, especially when the choir positions itself for the concert several feet further back than it was in the rehearsal...  Actually, if you accept the aim of recording the true sound of a cavernous acoustic, it's worked rather well, I think.

This is the chapel, with the organ very high up to one side:



Here is my microphone (it's a small surround mic), with tile mosaics behind:



And here's the recorder sitting at the foot of the stand:

« Last Edit: 24 Mar 2013, 11:13 by pwhodges »
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #51 on: 25 Mar 2013, 10:21 »

That chapel is gorgeous (I'd be loyal and say that my chapel is nicer, but it just isn't true)! How audible is the recording? We're recording in Ely Cathedral's Lady Chapel later in the summer, and we were singing there a couple of weeks ago. It is possible to sing an entire chord by yourself due to the ludicrous fifteen-second acoustic so I'm intrigued to see how that will work out.
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #52 on: 25 Mar 2013, 12:12 »

The recording is better than I expected (I could do a bit better if I was able to arrange the choir for recording rather than a concert, but it's fine).  The reverberation time is only about 6 seconds, but the critical distance (aka reverberation radius) is very short - barely 10 feet, I say, though I haven't measured it (that's the distance at which the reverberation is as loud as the direct source from the source).  That's the aspect that makes recording harder.

Anyway - it's linked there for you to listen to; the Brahms and Rheinberger are especially recommended.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #53 on: 25 Mar 2013, 15:46 »

I've downloaded, but haven't had the opportunity to listen yet. As I said a few weeks ago, a friend here in AZ gave me a theater-in-a-box setup. I listened to your trio demo, but had a hard time picking out the location of each voice. It may be my placement.

I get the operation of a binaural mic, I suppose, with the mics aimed away from a center. But a surround sound mic? Is that set up for right and left of the choir and right and left of the reverb?
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #54 on: 25 Mar 2013, 16:38 »

I'll be putting the surround files of this concert somewhere in due course, but not straight away.

I get the operation of a binaural mic, I suppose, with the mics aimed away from a center. But a surround sound mic? Is that set up for right and left of the choir and right and left of the reverb?

The usual way of recording surround is somewhat as you outlined - and is no more defined than what you wrote. 

What I do (ambisonics) is different.  An idealised description (the theory of why this is insufficient as it stands is beyond the scope of this margin) is that the microphone is measuring the pressure changes at at point (that's the same as an omnidirectional mic recording a mono signal) and also the movement of the air as three orthogonal velocity vectors (equivalent to the output of three figure-of-eight microphones).  The decoding into loudspeaker signals attempts to drive them so that the original pressure changes and movement are recreated at the centre of the loudspeaker array. You can easily object that (1) the head is larger than a point, and (2) a point is in any case an impractical area of reproduction for multiple listeners - however, in practice, the simple theory outlined above is not all there is, and it actually works out pretty well.

Some of my older recordings were made with a microphone assembled from an omni and figure-of-eight capsules; but they can't be made coincident, which the theory requires, and so better results are got by using four cardioid or sub-cardioid capsules placed close together on the faces of a tetrahedron and matrixing them to generate the required signals.  In fact, the patterns of the derived mics are typically better than can be obtained from physical capsules which claim to have those patterns!

Since many people (including recording engineers) don't get the idea of coincident mics for stereo, they are even less likely to get it for surround!  However, there is solid theory to justify the methods I use in preference to any alternatives; and one of my aims is to generate plenty of examples of practice to go along with it - which is why some of my recordings have been used in talks and demos at AES conferences and the like.

Note that what I have described is truly three-dimensional - the practical case of surround in a plane is already a compromise compared with the whole deal.  Oh, and this theoretical framework, and the microphone with which to record it has been available since a couple of years before 1980.
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #55 on: 02 Jul 2013, 16:09 »

Next concert, the very, very last on the theme of Royal Jubilees, Coronations and such for a while, I expect!

Orb and Sceptre - Coronation music from Purcell to Walton
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #56 on: 19 Sep 2013, 21:12 »

Paul, I thought immediately of your recordings when I saw this.

I was able to reproduce the four-speaker setup using a cheap theater system at my condo in AZ earlier in the year, but I haven't been able to figure it out in Michigan yet.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #57 on: 20 Sep 2013, 01:02 »

Paul, I thought immediately of your recordings when I saw this.

Quote from: New York Times
The core [...] is a motet, “Spem in Alium,” [...] Its transformation into the “Forty Part Motet”

The writer of the article seems to be unaware that Tallis himself wrote the motet in forty parts.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #58 on: 20 Sep 2013, 07:08 »

You're right, although I hadn't paid attention. I read a little more to learn that it was apparently written as 5 x SSAATTBB. I suppose if I read a little more, I might get a glimpse of the choral score.

The only time I've sung something approaching that multiple chorus was Schoenberg's Gurre Lieder, where three male TTBB choruses are singing. The women don't join until the very end, in a dramatic eight-part chorus.

I'm expecting to be in the NYC area at Thanksgiving, and I may try to hear the motet.

In my 35-voice a cappella group, we perform facing an audience. But my favorite rehearsals are those where we sing standing in a square or circle, usually mixed. Facing each other must be one of the joys of singing in many chancel choirs.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #59 on: 22 Sep 2013, 18:48 »

People in the audience cried after watching this epicness

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #61 on: 04 Dec 2013, 04:14 »

Have a concert of Mozart:

http://cassland.org/Mozart.html

Missa Brevis in F, K192, 'Little Credo Mass'
Epistle Sonata, K145
Round 'Ave Maria', K544
Church Sonata, K336
Solemn Vespers for a Confessor, K339 (includes the famous 'Laudate Dominum')
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #62 on: 27 Mar 2014, 03:05 »

And now the concert of settings of the words of George Herbert that was the catalyst for a forum meet-up in Oxford:

http://cassland.org/Herbert.html
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Akima

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #63 on: 03 Apr 2014, 01:33 »

George Herbert is not my favourite English-language poet, but I enjoyed this concert, especially the "Let all the world in every corner sing" setting by Kenneth Leighton. Thank you, PWH.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #64 on: 03 May 2014, 06:41 »

I'm a bit late posting but thanks Paul - I loved the concert so it's really nice to be able to hear it again!
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #65 on: 18 Jun 2014, 14:43 »

Another concert. 
This time it's settings of folk songs and other poetry by JohnRutter and others, and settings of Shakespeare by George Shearing.

http://cassland.org/Thyme.html
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #66 on: 07 Jul 2015, 02:59 »

I did a concert on Sunday:

Hits from Hollywood

I'm singing bass (and recording, and I'm librarian, and I wrote the program)
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #67 on: 07 Dec 2015, 08:45 »

Lux aeterna - a concert of religious choral music on the theme of light.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #68 on: 14 Dec 2015, 04:05 »

My current favourite choral thing to listen to is (I'd make it just a link, but don't know how): https://youtu.be/ykuF8h7sFwI
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #69 on: 28 Jun 2016, 12:18 »

Feel the Spirit - a mostly choral concert of African-American music.

We wanted a clarinet part in the Rutter to add variety to the piano accompaniment, so I wrote one.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #70 on: 09 Aug 2016, 07:29 »

Here's another concert:

German Romantic Church Music

Program:

Brahms - Geistliches Lied
Mendelssohn - Veni Domine
Mendelssohn - Verleih uns Frieden
Mendelssohn - Hear my Prayer
Reger - Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Rheinberger - Abendlied
Bruckner - Te Deum
Currently drowning out the 'Superhits of the 70's and 80's.'
Thanks PWHODGES!
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #71 on: 09 Aug 2016, 07:43 »

Gosh, you're going back a bit!  Glad to know that it's still appreciated, though.
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #72 on: 03 Jul 2018, 06:26 »

I returned from holiday a couple of hours before my choir sang a concert - so I couldn't sing, but recorded it as usual.  It was called "Parry and his pupils", and consisted of works by Parry and several early twentieth-century English composers.  But as well as that concert, I'm letting you access all my recordings of the choir, in both stereo and 4.0 surround (except just the three earliest).

https://cassland.org/CherwellSingers
login: cherwell
password: singers

Someone also videoed part of the concert, so here's the video with my audio (there are three audio tracks - my stereo, my 4.0 surround, the camera's):
https://cassland.org/videos/20180701%20Cherwell%20Singers%201st%20July%202018%20(Parry%20-%20Blest%20pair%20of%20sirens).mp4
Most browsers will automatically play this (but only with the default audio track) rather than download; in Chrome and Opera, there is a download button at the right-hand end of the video control bar. Or you can download this zipped version.
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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #73 on: 04 Jul 2018, 19:47 »

Thank you very much. I look forward to enjoying them.

I would be most interested in some technical details of how the recordings were obtained, if you wouldn't mind sharing them. Particularly the equipment used, microphone placement, and any post-processing steps.
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pwhodges

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Re: Let's talk choral music.
« Reply #74 on: 05 Jul 2018, 03:54 »

Up-to-date description, but still under development here: https://tetrahedral.audio/
Older (updating slowly), but relevant to earlier concerts here: https://ambisonic.info/practical.html

Here is a newly made short documentary about the early work of Michael Gerzon, the inventor of the "Ambisonics" technique of recording I use.  I was a friend of his at university, and appear in the video a couple of times (my voice is also the second you hear, and the microphone in the opening shot is mine):

« Last Edit: 05 Jul 2018, 04:01 by pwhodges »
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