21 April 2020

Hi everybody!

Since this is my first Katharine Konnection message, let me begin by expressing how much I miss seeing all of you each weekend. I cannot wait for this whole thing to be over with so we can gather together as a church family once again.

If you’ve watched our liturgies the past two weekends, you’ve no doubt heard some familiar voices singing together. I’m so grateful to our adult choir and youth band for providing music for these virtual liturgies. Quite a few people have asked me how this all came together, and it’s a process that’s both simple and complicated.

Each singer receives an mp3 of me playing the piano, which they listen to while wearing headphones. Using a separate device they record themselves singing along with the piano track. When they are satisfied with their “take” they send me the new recording of themselves singing.

I want to pause to interject a quick thought: Have you ever listened to yourself speak on video and cringed as you wonder how anyone can stand the sound of your speaking voice? That feeling is magnified when you’re listening to a recording of yourself singing completely alone. It can be a very humbling experience, and I again want to express my gratitude to our music ministry volunteers for stepping outside of their comfort zones!

Each file I receive is layered on top of the existing piano track and synced up so everyone is singing the same thing at the same time. I then adjust the volume of each track so that a decent blend is achieved. And if someone bumped into their phone, or if someone’s pet bird starts chirping in the background I try to edit that out of the final mix.

And after a few tries and tweaks, voila: our virtual choir!

This, I have to say, can be a very time consuming, tedious process. It’s been a joy to hear so many familiar voices through my headphones these past few weeks, but it’s certainly given me a new appreciation for our time spent rehearsing and physically being together. But until we can once again wait endlessly for Larry to find his sheet music, or exchange the corniest jokes imaginable, or have intense rock/paper/scissors contests, (I could go on)… Until the day we can finally be together again, I guess this will have to do.

In the meantime, I hope you all stay healthy and safe!

Daniel Owens

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