2020-03-10
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Stay with me

Stay together

Stay with me

Stay stronger

Face the sun

the shadows will fall behind you

It is still the most beautiful place

in my heart

(Listen to the music video ▼)

What you hear is a song called Stay with Me. The music video was released on the Internet at the critical period of the prevention and control of epidemic pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Written and composed by Cao Guanyu, director of the Department of Composition and Conducting of the School of Music of Central China Normal University (CCNU), the a cappella singing is performed by the chorus of South China Normal University (SCNU), aiming to bring comfort and encouragement to all people affected by the coronavirus.

“People get infected, quarantined, and many even lost their lives due to the coronavirus outbreak. Seeing all these, we cannot help feeling the sense of helplessness and fear,” said Cao, who witnessed the sufferings in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

“’Stay with me’ is what I long for at this special moment,” she envisioned “the most beautiful place” would return to normal at the end of the epidemic.

The Making of the Song

“The song could not have been made without the joint efforts of the chorus team led by Su Yanhui, conductor of the SCNU chorus,” said Cao gratefully. “Su sent her regards to me after the lockdown of Wuhan. I showed her my works made under such circumstances. To my surprise, she immediately asked if she could help to produce the song.”

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“It’s not easy to rehearse this song with a chorus. A heavy workload is part and parcel of the rehearsal and post production,” Cao was aware of the difficulties ahead. However, regardless of the challenges, the SCNU chorus managed to complete the mission.

The chorus team could not meet up for rehearsal due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. They resorted to virtual chorus to perform the song, in which they have to record their singing respectively and restore the chorus effect in the post-production.

With dense voices, changing harmonics and subtle differences of strength and  timbre, this a cappella requires a high level of singing skills. To this end, Su had to select members with good intonation and strong sense of rhythm. “At first they tended to sing a high pitch in the recording,” Su noted. “Instead they had to to sing steadily and smoothly.”

Under her guidance, the chorus members practiced repeatedly according to Su’s instructions, and got their part recorded at home. Then Su listened to their recording and corrected their mistakes through WeChat. Later the post-production team worked to compound all the audio recordings. Everyone worked around the clock to perfect their works.

The whole process of music production lasts only seven days from February 10 to February 17. The MV was released online on the same day.

“You may find the voice in the song is desolate, sad, rustling, quivering, but it is also yearning and soothing. Listen carefully, and you could feel warmth, strength and hope in it,” said Su, who acknowledged the team’s hard efforts.

"As a member of the SCNU chorus, although we can't fight against the epidemic in the front line, we hope to use this song to contribute our strength and express our solidarity and blessings to overcoming the epidemic," said Xu Kunming, who felt glad to participate in the work.

Latest on the novel coronavirus outbreak

A pneumonia outbreak was first reported in central China's Wuhan in December. The disease, which has spread across China and beyond, is caused by a novel coronavirus.

The total number of confirmed cases in hard-hit Wuhan was 43,323 as of February 24. Across the Chinese mainland, more than 77,785 people have been infected and 2,666 have died from the virus, according to data released by National Health Commission.


Translated by Jiang Xiaohua

Edited and reviewed by Li Jianru

Proofread by Edwin Baak

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