Members of Belle Voci used their own smartphones to record themselves singing and then each video and audio recording was put together to make this video collage. (Submitted)

Members of Belle Voci used their own smartphones to record themselves singing and then each video and audio recording was put together to make this video collage. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Fraser Valley singing ensemble overcomes isolation, creates music using digital technology

Members of Belle Voci record ‘a capella’ song together even though they were unable to meet in person

Social distancing and self-isolation didn’t stop a group of Fraser Valley singers from working together to record a vocal song.

Belle Voci, an ‘a cappella’ singing group based out of Chilliwack, made the nine-person ensemble recording of ‘Lay a Garland’ by English composer Robert Lucas de Pearsall even though they were unable to meet in person. A cappella music is singing without instrumental accompaniment.

“The project is all about the determination to find a way to collaborate and create beauty amidst the chaos of COVID-19,” said Paula DeWit, Belle Voci music director.

She said was driven to find a way to overcome any obstacles and continue her lifelong passion for making music.

It started with each of the five men and four women recording themselves singing using their smartphone in their own home. The audio soundtracks were then extracted from the film content, worked on in a professional recording production studio, digitally mastered and then re-inserted into the finished video collage with all the singers performing ‘virtually.’

“Lay a Garland is a sublime madrigal, filled with passionate, anguished harmonies – a real visceral source of comfort during this dark time,” DeWit said. “During our confinement, as we stay at home, our eyes don’t offer escape nearly as well as our ears. It is music that saves us and music that consoles us. It is powerful to immerse yourself in the effortless beauty of this performance and through our headphones, our mind wanders to happier places where we find peace, strength and comfort.”

The recording has been heard around the world, with listeners in Holland, France, the US and UK within the first few hours of the video being released.

“Especially in times of adversity, it is important to keep making beautiful music and show our humanity by staying connected,” DeWit said.

RELATED: Weekly videos promote Fraser Valley musicians and their house concerts during COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: VIDEO: Chilliwack artist launches free online festival to connect people worldwide to the arts

About Belle Voci:

Belle Voci is led by music director Paula DeWit and performs throughout the Fraser Valley. Its members hail from Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Celebrated a cappella singers, Belle Voci offers exciting selections of diverse sacred music, including renaissance polyphony, Greek Orthodox chant, traditional and jazzy interpretations of favourite pieces, and modern versions of melodies that have lasted throughout the ages. The group was formed in 2009 and specializes in ‘A Cappella’ music which is a centuries old art form using nothing but the purity and beauty of the natural voice.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and EntertainmentCoronavirus

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read