Most of us have heard “Amazing Grace”, which became a traditional song to sing during events in America. The hymn has been sung for decades as a call to bring one another together, and to celebrate life in its entirety. It has also been performed by many artists, young and old, who wish to both celebrate their country and worship God. While all performances of this traditional song are emotional and endearing in their way, one particular rendition would be an immediate sensation.
This cover was performed by Carl Ellis, who has an incredibly deep and powerful voice that immediately added a soulful air to this already magical song. However, he was not alone. Ellis was also accompanied by an incredible arrangement featuring over 200 bagpipes, which turned this song into a powerful and emotional piece. Combined, these musicians create a night that will be remembered and shared forever. Watch the incredible video below:
Before the bagpipes begin, we are treated to a minute of Carl Ellis singing on his own. It is at this point that we realize just how powerful a voice Ellis has, and how much training it must have taken to learn to sing in such a deep and controlled manner. His voice oozes soul and is immediately captivating. The silence in the room only adds to the majesty of his vocal performance, and when the bagpipes join him, the room fills with a magical combination of sounds that is simply breathtaking.
There is a common misconception that the bagpipes are an instrument traditionally native to Scotland only. However, these woodwind instruments have been known to be played for centuries throughout Africa, Europe, and South Asia, albeit in slightly different alterations. The bagpipes that are best known throughout the world are the Great Highland bagpipes, which were featured at the Valley of the Deer Revue Piping Concert in Washington. This concert celebrated Celtic culture; watch below:
During Carl Ellis’ performance, there is a middle ground where Ellis stops singing, and the bagpipes begin their own solo performance. ‘Solo’ is a loose word when there are 200 musicians using bagpipes, but it creates a uniform, cacophonous sound that can only be appreciated so much through video. The opportunity to watch something of this magnitude in person must be quite a magical experience. As the performance draws to a close, torches light the stage and the crowd goes wild with applause for this wonderful act.
However, when the bagpipes and Carl Ellis’ voice combine, it feels as though a new genre of music has been born. The soulful bellow of Ellis’ voice and the traditional Celtic flow of the bagpipes, with their signature and unmistakable sound, invoke the spirituality of what “Amazing Grace” has meant to people all over the world for centuries. It feels like a chant for hope in the dark, and an inspiration to keep fighting and moving forward in the name of yourself, your family, and for God.