Issue 48: Performing and Recording

This week I took part in a recording session for the very first time.

I had accompanied a junior school choir in their summer concert last week. They sang magnificently, with confidence and enthusiasm.  I could have done with learning the piano parts more thoroughly, but what with one thing and another there simply wasn’t the time. Most of the accompaniments were fairly straightforward, and any slight stumbles or duff chords were swept away in the momentum of the moment.  Even the terrifying moment when a difficult page turn went awry – back two pages to the chorus, then forward two pages to the coda -and I was left busking with one hand and flipping back and forth through the music with the other was somehow over in a flash. I’m not sure how aware the audience were of my struggles, apart from maybe the parents sitting right behind me.

Recording is a whole different game. I suddenly realised that all these little slips and fluffs and glitches would be there forever and would spoil the recording. I was much more nervous, especially as I didn’t have a lot of notice of when the session was going to happen.I opted to spend precious practice time in copying, cutting and pasting the piano part to avoid the page turns, and rely on sight-reading skills, a good short-term memory and quick wits. It was a good choice, as managing the music was a more serious problem than some of the dodgy chords. Even so, I wasn’t totally happy with my playing on the day.

However, I had reckoned without the technical wizardry of Nigel ( He was able to edit my mistakes, and even transform the output of the elderly electric piano into a really superior sound. When I listened to the CD the very next day (how’s that for turnaround!) I was hugely impressed by the quality of the children’s singing, and very relieved by the improved accompaniment!


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