O Holy Night

from by Sarah Calderwood

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Another one of my favourite carols - I've always thought O Holy Night is melodically perfect. I knew that I wanted a more complicated arrangement for this song, but I was struggling on an instrument to fill the sound. On the weekend of the 29th November 2014, my husband Paul took me away for a surprise birthday weekend (unbeknownst to me, he secretly packed the recording gear, because he had a feeling I may want to use it) and we ended up staying at Old Saint John's Church at Beechmont in the Gold Coast hinterland. The church was built in 1932 and is now converted accommodation, but the acoustics are sublime. The best part about the church was, much to my utter delight, a pristine Estey Organ (harmonium) built in 1889, but in perfect working order! There are squeaks and wheezes as the old girl bellows away in the recording, but I think it gives it much more character. I ended up completely hijacking a romantic weekend away in order to record this EP (sorry Paul, I owe you big time), and one of the results is this song, sung and played in a darkened church, surrounded by candles and tealights at 2am. It was a wonderful experience. I never expected to have such an incredible instrument at my fingertips to use and record!

credits

from By Light of a Star, released December 2, 2014
Trad/Arr. Sarah Calderwood

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Sarah Calderwood Brisbane, Australia

Sarah Calderwood is a singer and storyteller, uniting classic and contemporary folk. The charismatic front woman of premier Celtic group Sunas, Sarah has toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim.
In November 2011, Sarah released her debut solo album ‘As Night Falls’, which was nominated for a 2012 ARIA award. Her music journeys between modern electro symphonic and classic folk.
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