Music by itself is already an extremely powerful thing, but when written for a special occasion, something magical happens. When director and owner of Donemus Publishing, Davo van Peursen, celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary, Ukranian composer Maxim Shalygin offered to write a piece especially for him and his wife Margriet. This piece, titled Blessing, was written for tenor Georgi Sztojanov and the Babylon String Quartet, based on a psalm by Sir Isaac Watts. We feel honored to have worked with Maxim Shalygin, Georgi Sztojanov, and the Babylon Quartet, and to share the product of this collaboration with you.
As recording location, the Hofrust Chapel in the Dutch town of Rijswijk was chosen, not just because of its great acoustics, but also because of Davo van Peursen’s close connection to the church where he also performs as an organ player. The beautiful fragility of the piece was aided by the acoustics of the church, however, before we could start recording we had to overcome an issue that unfortunately bugs almost every location recording setting: hum.
Usually, the lights in a church or theater are not made for perfect acoustic performance, but to provide good light at a reasonable cost. However, this does mean sometimes that they come with their own disadvantages. Easy problem, easy solution though, just switch off the humming lights and get on with recording! However, that wasn’t the issue this time. After a long while of going around the church to check for any electrical issue that might produce this hum, we found that the electrical circuit controlling the clock on the outside of the building produced it. Switching it off immediately gave us the results we wanted: a dead silent church tone!
It’s tiny little details like these that really make recordings a true blessing (pun not intended) to do. Every time, you’re faced with new challenges and new situations. But everyday, you have the chance to work with amazing musicians, composers, and publishers like Davo at Donemus.