15 Artists from around the world - 15 Tracks - All inspired by "Tales from the Black Meadow"

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Artist of the Week - Mervyn Williams - Recording with the Choir - Part 1

On Wednesday 2nd July Theale Green Senior Choir got together to learn and record a new composition arranged by Mervyn Williams (based on the melodic ramblings of Chris Lambert).

This song uses one of the songs captured by Roger Mullins in "Tales from the Black Meadow".
The original melody was lost but the words survived, scribbled in lemon juice in the back of an old Hymnal in Old Saint Peter's Church (an example of the pagan infringing on the established religion). Roger Mullins noticed some discolouration and using a candle flame revealed this fascinating heathen paean to the land.

Mervyn Williams teaches the Alto line.

The hymn follows a similar structure to its Christian brothers in that it begins in unison in the first verse with soprano and alto singers only, introduces an element of the complex harmony in the first chorus. Male voices sing the second verse with full harmonies for the second chorus. The third verse is in full harmonic sweep and the hymn ends with a descant soaring over the top.

Mervyn Williams leads everyone in the final verse.

As the choir are part of a very busy school it was extremely difficult getting everyone together so they were only allowed an hour to learn, practice and record the piece.

The results are impressive and capture a real sense of how this song may have been sung over one hundred years ago in village halls on the Black Meadow..

Cathy McAllister (Alto) and Mervyn Williams check the recording with Tim Edwards (Music Technician)

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