Johnathan Leung, a Langley member sings bass for Fraser Valley’s ‘A Capella’ singing group Belle Voci. (Paula DeWit/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Fraser Valley A cappella ensemble Belle Voci continues to sing together with help from technology

The choir produced a cell phone video recording of Lay a Garland by Robert Lucas de Pearsall

The imposed restrictions of self isolation could have spelled “game over” for renowned Fraser Valley singing ensemble Belle Voci.

However, with a bit of innovation, ingenuity, and using the latest in digital technology – the choir group have come together to produce a video collaboration project.

Paula DeWit, the choir’s music director, was driven to find a way to overcome any obstacles and continue her lifelong passion for making quality music.

“Especially in times of adversity, it is important to keep making beautiful music. We show our humanity by staying connected,” DeWit said.

The ‘A cappella’ ensemble’s performance of Lay a Garland by Robert Lucas de Pearsall was recorded by the individual members (nine singers, including Langley resident Johnathan Leung) using their phones at home.

Utalizing the latest technology, the audio soundtracks were extracted from the film content, worked on in a professional recording production studio, digitally mastered, and then re-inserted into the finished video collage with all the singers performing ‘virtually’.

READ MORE: Langley musician moves in-school songwriting program online amid COVID-19 closures

Lay a Garland is a sublime madrigal, filled with passionate, anguished harmonies, a real visceral source of comfort during this dark time,” said DeWit. “During our confinement, as we stay at home, our eyes don’t offer escape nearly as well as our ears. It is music that saves us and music that consoles us. It is powerful to immerse yourself in the effortless beauty of this performance and through our headphones, our mind wanders to happier places where we find peace, strength and comfort.”

With listeners in Holland, France, the USA and UK within the first few hours of the video being released, Dewit said the popularity is an added bonus compared to the pleasure of continuing to sing with her group.

People can listen to the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zct1U_Ftng.

DeWit said Belle Voci remains committed to delivering music for all to enjoy and are already starting their next project.

“We are going to have an opportunity for singers from around the world to send in their recordings. The piece we selected is Ubi Caritas by living composer Ola Gjeilo. The harmonies are stunning and the message is beautiful,” DeWit added.

The instructions can be found at bellevoci.ca and Facebook.

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Langley Advance Times

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