Last weekend we were back in the church of St Leonard’s in Streatham High Road, London. This was the second session of recording for Thomas Young, the first being back in October 2017. The brief was to record some of Thomas’ Choral and organ music. The choir is largely formed from members and previous members of the Church choir at St Leonards.
The recording session was planned to start at 2pm, giving the choir a chance to arrive beforehand and rehearse while we set up our kit. Knowing the venue, from our previous session in 2017, made the setup a little easier.
The Recording Session
The session was split into two broad halves. First of all we recorded the choir. Some of the tracks were unaccompanied and some had organ accompaniment. As you can see from the photograph above, the organ is currently covered in plastic sheeting. This is because the church is having some building works done and the whole place was extremely dusty. This is evidenced by the dust all over my shoes and a lot of our cables by the end of the session!
The choir formed up at the East end facing the organ which, as you can see is in a gallery at the West end of the church. This made it a little easier for Martin to direct from the organ loft.
As well as recording the choir we also then recorded some organ pieces, again written by Thomas Young. These were performed on the organ by Martin Wolf.
In fact Martin had also been directing the choir as sadly Thomas couldn’t be at the recording session on this occasion. However, I thought Martin did an excellent job of leading the choir from the organ loft and certainly did a great job playing the organ pieces, which were by no means easy!
The Music of Thomas Young
Thomas writes in a unique way and his music has the definite character of someone who has worked closely with choirs for many years. Thomas was, I believe, at one time associated with the church of St Leonard’s in Streatham, possibly as the Director of Music there. His music conveys clearly the passion he has for choral singing and organ music. The clip below, filmed during the rehearsal gives you a flavour of Thomas’ compositional style.
De-rigging and clearing our kit out of the venue is always quicker than setting up. This short time-lapse video shows us taking the microphones down and getting our recording gear packed away.
We really enjoyed the recording session with Martin and the choir members from St Leonard’s Church. The album is now in production and, pending instructions from Thomas, should be available within the next few weeks.
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