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CHOIR DYNAMICS and what it takes to prepare/record an album in this way


The musical production team has been planning for this album since September 2022. We have always envisioned recording several different and distinct dynamics at the gathering to play with in the editing room (post production). 


Examples of some of these dynamics are: 


  • Isolated soprano voices

  • Isolated bass voices

  • Isolated claps

  • Isolated snaps

  • A small choir (for a smaller sound)

  • The full blown Wails Choir (for a larger more energetic sound)


Additional dynamics:

  • Isolated Ahlay’s Voice (recorded in a smaller studio post gathering)

  • Ahlay’s voice and 3 other voices sounding harmonies together (recorded in a smaller studio post gathering)

  • Instruments (strings, bass, piano, etc.)


Some of these dynamics will be layered in the final recording. Having all these dynamics recorded for the editing room allows us to build and descend the sonic field, creating catharsis and ebbing. 


The purpose of the Wails Gathering is to sonically capture what we will need for the album from the BIG CHOIR (everyone who wants to participate in the large sounding choir). The community chorus!! The heart of the project!! 


Small Choir:

The intention of having a BIG CHOIR and a SMALL CHOIR is to be able to hold an all inclusive gathering and record a professional album. The technical reality is that we don’t get to “book another day in the sanctuary” if we don’t capture all the things we need to record with the larger choir. And it is our job as the musical production team to make sure we have everything we need recorded while we’re together during this very short amount of time. 


That being said, we have asked a smaller choir (of under 40 people) including the professional song leaders who are attending the gathering (many of whom have a more in depth knowledge of the songs we’ll be recording and many of whom have been practicing them) to help us tie up any loose ends after each recording with the larger choir. The smaller choir is partially like an insurance policy… capturing what maybe we couldn’t get with the larger choir due to cadences or staying in time for post production purposes. Additionally it provides a smaller sounding choir for dynamic purposes. This decision serves the larger vision of the album WAILS and to create a more energetically manageable experience for all.

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