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17 February 2021, 17:09 | Updated: 17 February 2021, 17:17
How low can he go? Turns out, ludicrously, earth-shatteringly low…
The American bass, who stretches the lowest male voice type to its extreme, holds the Guinness World Records for both the “lowest note produced by a human” and the “widest local range”.
Speaking to Classic FM in his winning year, Storms said his voice “was always low”.
“The older I get, the lower I get,” he said. “I never went through that adolescent voice changing phase.”
Pour some liquid thunder down a microphone, and Storms’ voice is sort of what you get (listen below).
Storms found musical fame after winning Decca Records’ ‘Bass Hunter’, an international competition set up by the record company and Military Wives composer Paul Mealor, who were in search for a bass who could sing a low ‘E’.
Mealor’s newest composition at the time, ‘De Profundis’, featured the record-breaking note, which was the lowest tone ever written in a piece of classical music – six semitones below the lowest note found in a mainstream choral work, which is a B flat in Rachmaninov’s Vespers.
Storms submitted his tape and won the competition by a landslide. The singer and composer could not only get down to a low E but, so he says, two octaves lower than that. And the clarity of his voice at that frequency is just astonishing.
Mealor’s piece features on the 2012 Decca album Tranquillity, which was recorded with the St Petersburg Chamber Choir.
“I’ve always had an appreciation for classical music, but I’ve never been an active listener,” Storms tells Classic FM. “And then I heard the St Petersburg Chamber Choir and got to sing with them, and it completely changed the way I feel about it.”
Hear that low ‘E’ in the recording just here, and feel your bones tremble...