*This blog post was originally hand-written in a notebook as I sat in St. Mortiz Church, listening to the first few takes of Peter Greve’s “Aria for Trumpet and Organ.”
I had been teased by our lead engineer for the hot pink earbuds I had brought with me to listen in on the session. He did not believe my claim that the brighter the headphones, the better the sound.
In the middle of the 6th take of the opening measures, something happened that made me quickly yank out my hot pink earbuds, rush to my bag, grab my pen with the purple ink (which I was fully prepared to defend) and begin writing.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the phenomenon that occurs in choirs. When a group of people sing together their heartbeats will align. A similar phenomenon occurred in St. Moritz Church which caused me to begin writing.
There is a moment in the control room when everything comes together perfectly. The players are performing at their absolute best. The engineers have locked in on the perfect balance of sound. The musical director puts down their pencil and stops taking notes if just to purely listen for a moment and the composer allows themselves to sit back and let the music wash over them. Only when all of that lines up do you see everyone in the control room lean back, just slightly, and in perfect unison, nod.
It is not a moment of loud celebration, everyone remains in their seats and the work continues. But, in that one moment, everyone was beating together.
– Marina Altschiller