How low can you go? What’s the deepest note you can sing? Can your range stretch almost three octaves below middle C?
Maybe you’re a maverick basso profondo of the Russian Orthodox tradition, or somehow blessed with bass guitar strings for vocal cords? If so, Paul Mealor is looking for you!
The composer, whose music for the Christmas mumber 1 Wherever You Are and Royal Wedding captured the nation’s imagination, wants to break the record for the lowest note sung in a choral piece. The current holder is the ground-shaking B Flat from Rachmaninov’s Vespers.
Whilst some early online detractors have claimed his search to be a gimmick, Mealor’s intentions are purely artistic, with the composer explaining:
“My setting of De Profundis calls for a rich and powerful voice; a voice that can not only touch the heart with its sincerity and truth, but also make every fabric of the human body resonate as it plunges into the very lowest parts of the vocal spectrum,”
The record for the lowest note by a human is an incredibly low F Flat, produced by Roger Menees, an American coach driver, in 2010. His feat came through a focused effort to reach such lows; hitting such depths in a normal singing performance is thought to be impossible.
Basso profondo singers are able to produce some of the lowest singing performances on Earth, but even they may struggle to answer Paul Mealor’s call.
If you think you could be the singer Mealor is looking for, or fancy finding out just how low a low E is, pick up a bass guitar in standard tuning and try to hit the same note as its thickest string played open. Are you able to make the impossible, possible?
What’s the lowest note you can reach? Do such deep sings add anything to the feel of the music for you?