Members of Mill Hill United Synagogue’s choir recorded a live ensemble performance remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Their rendition of Nissan Blumenthal’s song Eitz Chayim Hi was conducted in real time by choir conductor Eliot Alderman.
Instead of producing individual recordings of each ensemble member’s musical line, the group used specialist technology to perform live together.
Bass singer Gershon Cohen said the solution has helped the choir “rehearse and perform music in essentially the same way we would in real life.”
The group, which plans to produce more live recordings, has hopes to livestream a session during an online service or a concert.
Covid-19, Alderman said, has “affected all choirs around the world, both Jewish and non-Jewish since they can’t meet up physically due to the risk of spreading the virus, they simply cannot make music together”.
“As a conductor it can be very frustrating because when people watch your arms moving about on screen, they are not actually seeing you in real-time, but instead with a second or so of time-lag, and likewise you as conductor are not hearing them sing back at you in time with the movements you are making, meaning it’s utterly impossible to keep everyone singing together and in time with each other,” he said.
But he added: “The software we use is very sophisticated, and reduces the latency or time-lag to no longer than the time it would take sound to travel from one end of a room to the other in a real concert-hall setting, so it’s effectively as good as us all being in the same room as each other.”