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Hopeful Melody

Musician friends of mine have been posting on-line numerous videos of themselves performing, and multi-tracked recordings of themselves using whatever instruments they play, while at the same time filming themselves and editing it together into a film. Some have really gone to town, changing what they are wearing each time and playing to the camera so it looks like they are different members of a band, some have written fabulous arrangements, some have added a commentary giving historical context of what they are playing, there are eight piece bands with musicians from all over the country and dancers... There are also musicians putting on live concerts - generally pianists and guitarists, and some offer to play requests. Some ask for donations for their concerts. People are being very creative, desperate to make something out of all the time at home.

Soon after the announcement that our Prime Minister had been taken into intensive care last Sunday I sketched out a simple melody. It was a gospel style tune. For many years I have admired the ‘trombone shout bands’ in the USA – massed groups of trombones, sousaphones and percussion playing gospel music (mainly for the UHOP church). The bands are made up of musicians that grew up in churches, so the gospel style is in their blood, and the sound is immensely powerful and uplifting. There are few official recordings and videos because I’m told they are not allowed, but numerous unofficial recordings that are easily found on-line.

I thought I’d try to record my own take on this style, in my front room. I was very aware that for the real effect you need 20 or so musicians, all playing together, building from pianissimo to a glorious fortissimo gradually through many choruses. Not something I could do on my own with neighbours next door, but despite this I was quite pleased with the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODXAOo-7fcQ

It took a day of battling technology, a day in which I didn’t stop for lunch!

I called it a “Hopeful Melody”.

We are told that Boris Johnson is a little better. I hope the best for him.

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