‘Idumea’, Chris Dowding (trumpet, fx), George McKay (double bass), Paul Thompson (film)

In December 2020 I did a recording with trumpeter Chris Dowding for a project to do with singer Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas recordings. We recorded ‘Idumea’, the 19th century American Sacred Harp shape-note singing hymn/folk piece. (This was all something of a musical education for me, for I had not actually heard of Sufjan Stevens, and didn’t know that much about the Sacred Harp tradition either.)

It was a lockdown recording, meaning Chris did his parts on his own, sent me the stems via the cloud, and then I recorded my parts and solo. On Garageband. The piece was then mixed by Chris and Paul Keeler.

For the video, the pair of us stood with our instruments in a churchyard for 25 minutes at the bottom of Constitution Hill, Norwich (it was cold) and the brilliant Paul Thompson filmed us via the headlights of his car. It was all rather DIY. 

Our recording of ‘Idumea’, under the hymn band name, is released on the 2021 hymn album In Lockdown, available here