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Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Avanna + EWQLSC)

Perhaps no performance has moved me more than Bessie Griffin's earth shattering rendition of the old African American Spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Moth...

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Comment by August Champlin on January 22, 2018 at 7:56am

Perhaps no performance has moved me more than Bessie Griffin's earth shattering rendition of the old African American Spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" (Google it!). After hearing her sing this piece, I could not get the tune out of my mind. I found myself humming and singing it everywhere I went, except in my mind a contralto voice sang the desolate call and a full gospel choir sang the painful jabbing responses. This arrangement so haunted me that I wrote it out and developed it into this piece. Since I have no access to a contralto or gospel choir, I did my best to program Zero-G's Avanna, a Vocaloid, to perform the solo and EWQL Symphonic Choirs to perform the role of the full gospel choir. Avanna is more of a lyric blues singer than the powerful contralto I had in mind (think Jessye Norman); however, her light bluesy rendition captures something of the forlornness of the piece. I thought Symphonic Choirs did a pretty good job of imitating a gospel choir. I also experimented with using Hollywood Choirs, which I own; however, SC did a better job than HC, I felt, so that is what you hear in this performance. If your choir wants to sing this piece, please contact me. I would love to hear this piece performed by a real soloist and choir!

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