For much of this past week, I have fortunately found myself in various recording studios around London and mainly those at Abbey Road.
Most people with even a degree of popular cultural awareness will know that Abbey Road Studios are the ones in which the Beatles recorded almost all of their albums and singles in the swinging 1960’s.
Whilst the studios are still very much used by pop and rock bands, they are probably more regularly occupied by musicians performing on film sound tracks. One of the reasons that Hollywood films end up being recorded in London is due to the fact that we operate a ‘buy out’ system over here, meaning that the production companies have a one off payment to make to the musicians and then owe them no further compensation for their performance on the film. This apparently is unlike Hollywood, where residual or royalty payments are made to the musicians. Therefore, if the film is successful, a Hollywood musician will earn more than the original basic fee (and on occasions, considerably so).
The sound track to the recent 007 movie ‘Spectre’ was recorded at Abbey Road and yesterday I was back in Studio 1 to record the score for ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’, a film about the life of the well known American socialite and amateur operatic soprano of the same name. The score by Alexandre Desplat is brilliantly put together, magically catching the mood of early to mid 20th century New York. What added yesterday to the sessions, was the appearance of one of the stars of the movie, Meryl Streep. I have met her before on ‘Into the Woods’ and she was as outgoing and warm to everyone then, as she was yesterday. An amazing actress/singer who is naturally generous, witty and engaging with everyone she meets.
Today’s video goes back a few weeks to my trip to the Adams European Flute Festival this Spring. It is just a short film to show you the layout of the Adams shop and to give you a few ‘amuse bouche’, that might make you consider joining the fun next year. Once again, the atmosphere is highly friendly and constructive. As I gaze out of my London window, all I can see is low grey cloud. Considering everything we hear about how the weather is changing, this seems like a very typical British summer to me! Thank goodness the days are now getting shorter again! We British are only truly happy if we have something to grumble about.