Artist : The Dialling Tone Chorus.
Title : Video Killed The Radio Star.
Just over forty years ago, I was handed an audio cassette tape featuring a track that had yet to be released. Asked by the promo director who'd given it to me to come up with a concept for the video, I remember sitting back on a lumpy sofa and listening to Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles for the very first time.
Now, in the 21st Century, it blows one's mind to be playing a choral version of that song streamed via bluetooth to my airbuds on a video phone.
Times change, but a great song doesn't, the proof being what Gitika Partington has achieved with The Dialling Tone Chorus, a virtual choir she assembled over the internet from places as diverse as London, Bristol, Brighton and Macclesfield to record the song in complete isolation from each other.
And then there's the video. If the audio track isn't swoonsome enough, all the different shots of the choristers, many in wild and wacky costumes, elevate it to a new plateau of bliss. Expertly assembled and edited, it's a zillion miles away from the original Buggles video, but in its own way just as groundbreaking and exciting. And as for Gitika - her almost Marx Brothers get-up as orchestrator to the choir is a joy to behold. If for no other reason, you can't stop smiling.
In the words of its creator -
"It all happened in lockdown and just got more creative as I delegated. Usually I do everything myself but got a guy who does community projects all over the UK who is in my choir to do the video then met a guy on a Facebook Composers page who I have never met in real life and just had a good feeling about him. His name is Eric James and he does backing tracks for this cool app called Voisey. I asked him to do a backing track for Tainted Love and it just blew out of the water! Loads of choirs have been doing virtual videos acapella or maybe ukeleles but this is probably the first one with full cascade dance track... it just changed everything!
Wait till you see the next one. It's a folk song with a dance track... the choirs are really getting into it and at first the idea of singing on their own into a video phone was horrible! They all hated it as they were so used to singing in a group.
But that was the idea to find a way of doing something in lockdown that extended them and it certainly has. Choir members might sing their track ten times before they are happy with it. And each time we do them, the performances and costumes get better and better. It also cheered people up so much.
We sung in dark churches and school halls for ten-fifteen years and it feels like we were never seen and we have been catapulted into the light so something really creative has come out of lockdown. Choir members have reported back that their friends love the videos so much they put them in to cheer the whole family up. It was never meant to be so much fun and I never really meant to be in them but they have taken a life of their own."