Making Music

I am a member of the Newtown Recorder Consort. I’ve played with the consort since 1995. In the beginning it was the soprano. At some point I switched to the alto which I’ve played since Christmas 1959. A couple of years ago we lost our bass player and I switched.

I shouldn’t use the present tense for any of this. We stopped practicing in 2020 with the pandemic and haven’t resumed. Wind instruments are especially good at virus transmission. The instrument is a device to accelerate the performer’s breath just to get a sound. With four of us it means the air is full of what ever viruses we have.

The interregnum has been driving me nuts. For over twenty years and for most Tuesday nights we played. We didn’t limit ourselves to just baroque and classical. We played folk tunes. We played jazz. I don’t remember playing Beethoven. I do remember Bach, Vivaldi and Hayden.

We’re silent now and there seems to little motivation to start up again.

So I’ve accompanying my self. I found a program, Audacity. I count out a preceding measure and then start playing. Audacity records it all. It will then playback what I’ve recorded in my headphones while it records what I’m playing. I have a five part arrangement of Simple Gifts. I recorded my playing all five parts and Audacity mixes them all together.

I started on lullabies for my grandson, age six months. It made up for the fact that I can’t remember lyrics. I can get the first two lines of the first verse out but then nothing. This is not old age. Its years of playing instrumental music. I’ve played *All Through the Night* with my sister since we were kids. I can get through ‘Sleep my child let peace attend thee’ and then nothing. Recorder music rarely has the words. So now I play it in four parts through Audacity.

Barber Shoppers have a goal called the fifth voice. It occurs when the harmony is so tight the the harmonics of the various voices combine to produce that fifth voice.

It works with recorders too. Although I’ve heard it as a third voice playing duets. It doesn’t work with Audacity. I have the feeling that its a live performance thing.

You can hear the Daly Recorder Consort at

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