This summer, I plan to make a recording in a medieval church, in order to produce a CD in time for the completion of my church project in September. It will also provide a lasting celebration of my musical tour of Suffolk’s churches.
I have launched a Crowdfunding campaign to turn this idea into reality, and I’d love you to get involved! The funding is only part of the story: my Suffolk church project has been a hugely sociable, joyful experience, bringing such a strong sense of community, and I would love for this recording to reflect these same wonderful qualities of my last three years of music-making in Suffolk’s churches.
During my project I have taken photos of every church, written about every church, and, obviously, played the cello in every church. I have often been asked, ‘do you record yourself in every church?’, or ‘have you got any CDs?’ The answer has always been ‘No’. I only have the odd snippet of audio or video, taken by me on a pocket-sized sound recorder when I was curious to hear the church’s acoustic, such as this one from Chattisham church.
I can’t change the fact I haven’t recorded myself in every church – it would have been too impractical anyway – but I have decided it is time to turn the answer to the question about CDs into a YES!
- make a recording of solo cello music in a medieval Suffolk church in late July;
- commission a new piece of solo cello music, to be included on the CD and premiered at the final concert in Orford; and
- produce CDs for sale mostly at concerts in Suffolk churches. A donation from each sale will go to the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust to support their work in helping to maintain these special buildings.
The music on the CD will be:
Bach cello suite no. 4 in E flat major;
Bach cello suite no. 5 in C minor, and
A commissioned set of variations on a Walton theme (Tema per variazioni) by Benjamin Ellin.
I have chosen these two Bach suites partly because they are lesser known than the first three. But more importantly, I have chosen no. 4 because E flat major is my favourite key; and no. 5 because, with the top string of the cello tuned down by a tone from A to G, the feel of the music becomes ancient, and seems to be at one with the atmosphere of the church. If I had to choose just one piece of cello music to pair with a medieval church, this would be it.
Please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/suffolk-church-recording to read all about it and get involved!