Alison Lucy's Blog


Audio- Avon Harmony
May 17, 2010, 22:01
Filed under: Non-Viable Document

After much observation and general pondering over what I specifically found interesting about the Avon Harmony group I realised that it was their sound. However it wasn’t solely when they began to sing that I found a heightened degree of interest in my subject. It was the general chit-chat that slowly built up as the members filtered into the Church…the West Country accents and the every day greetings with quick summaries of everyone’s individual weeks. The voices were alive with excitement and character even before they began to sing. Warm-up voice exercises and the sound of individual lead, baritone, bass or tenor groups warming up can’t quite prepare you for when they all come together and sing. Then the place came truly alive.

So the next rehearsal session I came along armed with an Edirol MP3 recorder and found it surprising that the group were just as anxious about this device as they were with the video camera. I plonked it down in the middle of their rehearsal circle and let it do its thing…this didn’t work. However once I got to grips with the recorder and used my headphones to hear exactly what I was recording I could walk around the group whilst they were singing picking up on the variety of vocal parts and interesting remarks here and there. Often it was in-between conversations that were most interesting.

It was after a good 2 and a half hours recording that I realised it was time to create a composition out of this audio. It was important that my non-viable outcome was appropriate to this group and therefore the audio was at this point most important to me. I wanted to recreate the feeling of being there during the rehearsal and get a feel of the characters. I exported various sound ‘effects’ (coughs, laughter, doors slamming etc) and edited these together with conversations and singing. This took a long time to get right including playing with the left/right panning of the speakers so that you could get a feel of the rather ’round’ sound space. Below are screen shots of my editing process, I used Audacity initially to save specific sounds and then Garageband to arrange the edit. There is also a link to my final composition on Soundcloud.

Avon Harmony- Final Edit Audio

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