Artists transform cathedral bell tower into recording studio during pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic forced countless musicians offstage and into the world of virtual concerts. But five artists in Boston, Massachusetts, found a way to sing together and share their music with others.
It's the Boston Cathedral Singers' album, “From the Bell Tower,” which they recorded precisely there: in a bell tower at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Baritone, Boston Cathedral Singers
“It was an expression of our solidarity with the world, that we have gifts, and even though we were separated by space, we could still make music, and we could still have especially sacred music, that would convert our hearts and our souls to God.”
Soprano, Boston Cathedral Singers
“To be able to hear your voice and your colleagues' voices just blossom out into the room, you could feel the vibrations in your body when you're singing with somebody else, and you can hear their breath. And to be able to do that instead of these remote virtual choir things that I was doing was life-giving.”
Tenor, Boston Cathedral Singers
“And it felt kind of like a personal responsibility, to always always try to bring that enthusiasm and joy that is already in the music to life.”
Finding the space in the cathedral's bell tower was a serendipitous moment for composer and Director of Music, Richard J. Clark, who discovered its great acoustics while warming up for Mass one day.
RICHARD J. CLARK
Director of Music, Boston Cathedral Singers
“It's not very pretty. It's a mechanical room. There's a big red box to one side. There's all the electrical panels and fire suppression, and all these ropes going up. And the ceiling's about three stories high, I'm guessing. But it's all surrounded by wood. There's all wood and hard surfaces, so it's a very warm sound.”
Richard Clark recorded the two-ton bells to incorporate them into the album.
And the album's four Eucharistic motets are his own compositions.
Mezzo-Soprano, Boston Cathedral Singers
“He's a composer. He's a wonderful organist. So there's sort of just a level of musicianship, a level of integrity, a level of just all around appreciation, love, passion for this music. And for him especially, the religious aspect is the most important as well. So he brings all of that to his music.”
The Boston Cathedral Singers are all accomplished professional musicians, each with a variety of music projects. They share a unique bond strengthened by their mutual desire to create music together and spread its joy and beauty to others, even in challenging times.