How to record the Unseen tracks

Thank you for taking part in the Unseen project. In this page we will explain how to record both tracks.

Here are  some things you need to know:

  • After following the steps below you will have recorded an audio file of yourself singing.
  • You need to listen to a backing track while you record, but it is very important that the recording you submit does not include any audio from the backing track. Make sure to wear headphones so we can only hear your voice.
  • The deadline to submit your recording is Tuesday 8 December.

Step 1 – Familiarise yourself with the lyrics

SONG 1 – As for so long (Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges)

As for so long, my heart is sighing;
Filled with the flames of love, it must burn.
Aching with pain, groaning and crying.
Sending my love with no hope of return.

How I mourn night and day
Longing to share it,
Longing to share it, ah!
Share all the love I can’t say.

As for so long, my heart is sighing;
Filled with the flames of love, it must burn.
Aching with pain, groaning and crying.
Sending my love with no hope of return.

SONG 2 – If you look for long enough (Streetwise Opera and John Barber)

If you look for long enough,
You will see, you will see…
Shapes in the clouds
Spirits in the wind

If you look for long enough,
You will see, you will see…
Rainbows in raindrops
Beauty in all things

(slightly faster)

If you look for long enough,
You will find, you will find…
Cities inside
Water on the Tyne

If you look for long enough
You will find, you will find…
Crystal skies,
The colour of my mind

If you look for long enough, you will see
If you look for long enough, you will see

[GAP]

If you look for long enough, you will see
If you look for long enough, you will see

You will see, you will see a new beginning
You will hear, you will hear the birds in song
You will find, you will find a brighter future
You’ll reach the end, you’ll reach the end

I see
I see
I see

Step 2 – Practice and learn the song

Use these backing tracks to practise the songs at least a couple of times before you record. 

Step 3 – Set up your recording device

You may be able to record on your phone or tablet, or on your home computer. Please click the options below for instructions.

Step 4 – Choose the best location

Ideally you want a place that is quiet, where you will not be interrupted. We prefer you do this indoors, as doing it outside might also capture the sounds of other people, traffic, birds and other animals, and wind.

If possible, you want to choose a room that is not too echoey, ideally with furniture, clothes or soft surfaces that will absorb any echo. A good tip is to take a clothes hanger or rack, hang some towels or bed sheets from it, and place it in front of you while you record. Here are some photos of how people set up their home studios to get the cleanest audio.

Step 5 – Choose the best time for recording

Do the recording at a time when you know you won’t be interrupted and you won’t be in a hurry. Also, ideally when noise from outside will be minimal.

Before you start to record, pay attention to any noises in the room or coming from outside. Is there a loud appliance on, is there the noise of traffic or a passing train? Maybe wait a bit until the noise passes and then record.

Step 6 – Get your phone or tablet ready

Make sure your device has enough battery or it is plugged in to a power source. If you are using a phone, you might want to set it to Do Not Disturb or Turn Off Notifications, so that you are not interrupted by a phone call or a message. Remember to deactivate these options once you’ve finished your recording.

It would be best if you do not hold your device in your hand while you sing. Instead, rest it on a stable surface with the microphone pointing to your mouth.

Step 7 – Queue up the backing track

We’ve put together a video with a backing track with composer John Barber singing your parts. John will count you in every time you need to sing. The video includes lyrics that appear when you need to sing and you will hear John talk you through the cues to help while you are recording.

Make sure to practise at least a couple of times just singing along to the backing track so that you know what to expect once you are recording. 

Step 8 – Record your part

You are now ready to record yourself singing. Depending on the device/s you are using, click on the options below for further instructions.

Step 9 – Rename your audio file

We will be receiving lots of recordings over the next week. We’d be very grateful if you could rename your audio file with your first name and the name of the song. For example:

Jane.MP3

If you are using the Voice Record Pro app, remember to have a look at the tutorial video to learn how to rename a recording.

Step 10 – Send your recording to Streetwise Opera

If you used Voice Record Pro, we would prefer you send your recording via email as a password protected link. We explain how to do this from 07:58 in this tutorial.

If you are using a home studio or a professional recorder, just forward your audio file to Streetwise Opera at info@streetwiseopera.org

You will not receive an automatic email notification confirming we have received your recording. But we will monitor emails regularly and write back confirming we have your recording as soon as possible.

Remember, if you have any questions or need additional help, please get in touch with Rey Trombetta at rt@streetwiseopera.org.