Lockdown music 3 – ‘Sing out, Angels!’

As a recording project for England’s November lockdown I decided to tackle my carol ‘Sing out Angels’. This was originally commissioned by Music Dynamics for Marie Curie Cancer Care in 2011, and was recorded, but as far as I know it was not taken up by Marie Curie, and it soon went out of print. However, I retained the copyright, so I revised it a little for this project.

It is always fruitful, to look back on something that one has written in the past – I often notice ways in which things could be improved, but of course with published music you don’t have the chance!  So it was good to have the opportunity to revisit this piece, and as a result I shortened the last verse, making the coda revert to the opening key, and adjusted some dynamics. I also transposed it down a tone, to better suit the voices of those recording it.

I wrote the words as well as the music for this carol, which gives much flexibility in shaping the music, and it fell neatly into a verse-chorus pattern, in which the words give a message which is not only appropriate for Christmas but also for the present pandemic which affects us all. 

In the virtual recording there are five main singers (mostly singing two, and in one case three, parts, sometimes more than once) and also, for part of the chorus, my two granddaughters joining in lustily! 

Once I had put it all together on Audacity software, and added a bit of reverberation, I added pictures – in this case Christmas decorations and street scenes – and also the words. 

None of this would have been possible without family members singing along on their own to a backing track into their phones – many thanks to them!!

You can listen to the recording here.

Postscript: the carol is now published by GIA Publications – visit this page for details

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