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22 February 2021, 17:28
A chorus of one, in a visionary edit of a choral blessing.
In a year of cancelled rehearsals and concerts, one young musician has found an imaginative way to replicate the joy of a live choir.
John Rutter’s beautiful anthem ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ is performed (watch in the video below) for choir, by Bobby Goulder… and Bobby Goulder alone.
Goulder, 26, used technology – and the help of a few friends – to turn himself into a one-man vocal ensemble of nine singers.
The professional music director and pianist has been doing similar edits during lockdown, as he realised he could raise money for charity by doing personalised musical gifts for people.
“It kept me busy and helped me to stay creative for most of the summer,” he tells Classic FM.
Over the summer, Goulder took on split-screen, eight-part arrangements of the music of ABBA, Vera Lynn, Madonna and even Thomas the Tank Engine.
Read more: Choir trolls actual John Rutter by singing ‘I Can’t Believe it’s not Rutter’ >
‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ was commissioned by a friend of Goulder’s, in memory of a relative of hers.
“Because of the sacred, sombre nature of the music, I felt the arrangement called for a different kind of video approach to the usual 8 grinning faces in boxes,” Goulder says.
“So I looked into the idea of super-imposing several images on top of one another to look like a chamber choir.”
With the help of friend Ali Webb, it took Goulder around five hours to film each position, firstly in a wide shot, and then from closer angles.
Goulder sings the arrangement of the spiritual sacred song at St. Mary’s Church in Saffron Walden, Essex, where he grew up.
“St. Mary’s reserves a special place in my heart as it is where I was a chorister aged 8-12 and where I learnt a grounding in music theory and vocal writing,” Goulder says.
“So, it was important to me to shoot it there.”
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