Suite Sixteen 50th Anniversary Cover Listen
"Let it be". 50th anniversary cover
“And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.”
Let it be was composed in 1968 by Paul McCartney. For last five decades, it has been one of the world’s most popular songs of hope in the midst of trial, alongside Imagine (1971) composed by Paul’s Beatles mate John Lennon at the outset of the latter’s subsequent solo career. McCartney’s inspiration was a dream in which Mary McCartney, his mother who died of breast cancer when Paul was 14, came to him and soothed him through, as his lyrics put it, “times of trouble” and his “hour of darkness,” telling him to “let it be.” The last verse, depicting a light shining on Paul through the cloudy night sky, was added in the recording studio.
The song was released as a single in March 1970, and reigned as #1 on the charts for 14 weeks.Rolling Stone magazine ranks Let it Be as #20 on their list of “the 500 greatest songs of all time.” It became the title song of the Beatles’ final album together and an accompanying motion picture Let it be, both released in May 1970. The film, documenting the Beatles final rooftop concert at #3 Saville Row, London, on 30 January 1969 won an Academy Award for “Best Original Song Score.”
For its 50th anniversary, Let it be was under rehearsal for the KAUST Ensembles Concert originally scheduled for the Building 20 mainstage on 16 March 2020 by a pick-up group calling themselves Suite Sixteen.
The name comes from the Building 16 office home of four of the band members, vocalist Nicholas Demille, organist Katja Gorenflot, pianist David Keyes, and drummer James Tulley. They are joined by saxophonist Peter Diglin and bassist Scott Ferrare of The KAUST School. The arrangement used by Suite Sixteen is the 1970 Beatles recording original, except that George Harrison’s famous guitar solo is replaced by a sax solo by Peter Diglin. Some members of the Suite met in person to rehearse before the self-isolation period on the KAUST campus; however, the project had to be completed virtually. The master behind the virtual production is Peter Diglin, who set up the Soundtrap collaboration space and did the final mixing.
Let it be is the second virtual ensemble performance in a series that was begun with In the Wee small hours of the morning, by the KAUST Isolees, which was completed on 25 March. The message of Let it be seems particularly appropriate during civilization’s coronavirus pause, in which countries and even families are separated, feeling vulnerable, humbled by uncertainty, resigned to lack of control, and looking beyond themselves for hope.
In addition to its seemingly ever relevant contemporary message on its 50th anniversary, ''Let it be'' serves as an elegy for the greatest band of the 1960’s, if not also all time.
David KEYES, 31 March 2020.