Last year, during the full lockdown, when we couldn’t sing together in person but were still trying to find ways to create music, Vox Musica, the group in which I sing, decided to do carol-o-grams. We divided into quartets, with each quartet doing a specific set of songs. We all recorded our parts individually in our homes, and then a couple of the more tech-savvy members assembled the videos into something that could be sent out to anyone who bought one.
This year we’re back to being able to sing together, albeit while wearing masks and with very limited audience numbers, but we still wanted to do the Carol-o-grams, because it’s a fun way to be able to send music to people as a unique holiday gift. At least this year we could record the audio for each group in our usual rehearsal space, but we still had to do the visual piece at home, following the same rules as the previous year – sing against a light colored background with no visual distractions in the frame.
Here is the thing about our house – the only white walls are the doors, and the lighting is, in general, pretty crappy everywhere except the kitchen. So in order to do this, I have to hang a white sheet on the wall, then sit at the island in the kitchen and attempt to record.
Let’s just say that it’s a good thing that I didn’t have to record actual audio this year. While I was doing my recordings, I could see the white sheet occasionally waving behind me as one more kittens dashed behind it. Around my feet, kittens tore back and forth, playing with every noisy toy they could possibly find. It is a miracle no one knocked over the light ring that was holding my phone but I did have to restart at least once due to a kitten careening across my keyboard.
So if you are looking for a unique gift for someone who has everything, how about sending them the gift of music – a quartet of Christmas carols. And if you happen to choose Package A, which is the one from the group I was in, and see the background behind me billow occasionally, just try to imagine the sheer level of kitten chaos that was going on, just off screen.
‘Tis the season for Holidailes.