HISTORIC RE-OPENING OF ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS LED BY GLOBAL JAZZ STAR MELODY GARDOT
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA RETURNS FOR FIRST RECORDING SESSION AFTER ONLY CLOSURE IN 90 YEARS
09 JUNE 2020 (TORONTO, ON) – For almost 90 years, the doors to Abbey Road Studios have welcomed artists, composers, songwriters, producers, orchestras and engineers from across the globe – coming together to create music that has provided the soundtrack to our lives. But on Tuesday 24 March, the famous oak doors closed for the very first time, in line with the measures introduced by the UK Government to limit the spread of COVID-19.
After more than 10 weeks, the Abbey Road team was thrilled to return to the famous house in St John’s Wood, to welcome back the creative community for recording and mastering.
Re-opening the doors and making history as the first studio session on June 4, was Decca Records artist Melody Gardot. The world-renowned jazz singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was poised to record with the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Orchestra when the COVID-19 restrictions came into place and the session cancelled. She was thrilled the legendary Abbey Road Studios was able to create a safe environment for a full orchestra to record together within the social-distancing regulations. This also marked the RPO’s first reunion since the lockdown.
A truly international recording session, Melody joined remotely, from Paris, along with long-time collaborator, the multi-Grammy winning producer Larry Klein, who joined from LA, both communicating with the engineers, Abbey Road team and musicians in London throughout.
Bringing together groups of musicians in an enclosed space in the current environment provides a unique set of challenges, so the Abbey Road team has been working tirelessly with friends across the studios network to implement the UK Government guidelines and set the new standards for recording and production under COVID-19. With the safety and wellbeing of the Studios team and guests as the top priority, Abbey Road will have new operating guidelines that will allow for social distancing and create the safest possible working environment.
Abbey Road Studios’ Managing Director, Isabel Garvey, says: “Music is proven to help us get through difficult times, providing escape and easing our mood – so it’s never been more important than in the current circumstances. At Abbey Road, we’ve witnessed the creative community’s desire to create new music and communicate their feelings throughout this time, and we’ve received numerous requests from our clients to get back to work. So, we’re thrilled to have established new standards for safe recording and to re-open Abbey Road once more.”
Melody Gardot, who recorded at the studio in 2009 for the Live from Abbey Road television series, says, "Knowing that we are the first session back at Abbey Road Studios after its re-opening is an absolute honour. I was told that until COVID-19 the studio had never been closed for business in almost 90 years of operation. Even during WWII it stayed open. And the fact that we’re recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, helping get the musical community back on track in a way that is safe for all involved. It feels like we are touching history."
President of Decca Records, Rebecca Allen, adds, “Decca Records and Abbey Road Studios have had a strong alliance for many, many years. We are thrilled that they are able to open their doors once again to allow the creation of music, and we are delighted that our own artist Melody Gardot, along with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, are working together to fill the studios once more with incredible artistry.”
About Abbey Road Studios:
Opened on 12 November 1931, Abbey Road Studios was the world’s first purpose-built recording studio and is a global music icon. The Studios are a centre of innovation for recording techniques and technology, education and everything connected to the past, present and future of music development. Home to countless landmark recordings and pioneering advances in recording technology, the legendary studio complex has a phenomenal history spanning over 89 years, encompassing celebrated work by many of the world’s most famous recording artists from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Kanye West and Oasis to Florence + The Machine, Frank Ocean, Ed Sheeran, Brockhampton, Sam Smith and Adele. Film scores recorded at Abbey Road Studios include The Lord of The Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter films, most of the Star Wars movies, Gravity, Black Panther, 1917, Avengers: Endgame and the multi award winning The Shape of Water. Abbey Road Studios is a Universal Music Group company. Discover more at www.abbeyroad.com
About Decca Records:
Established 90 years ago, Decca is one of the world’s iconic record labels and has been the home to countless legendary musicians including Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Vera Lynn and Bing Crosby to name a few, and is now providing the platform for a new generation of ambitious artists at the forefront of their scenes – names such as Andrea Bocelli, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Melody Gardot, Max Richter, Aurora, Ludovico Einaudi and Gregory Porter, who continue to represent the label’s cultural legacy. Discover more at: decca.com
About the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:
As the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) approaches its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2021, its mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal, places the RPO at the forefront of music-making in the UK. Performing approximately 200 concerts each season and with a worldwide audience of more than half-a-million people, the Orchestra embraces a broad repertoire that enables it to reach the most diverse audience of any British symphony orchestra. The RPO aims to place orchestral music at the heart of contemporary society, collaborating with creative partners to foster a deeper engagement with communities to ensure that live orchestral music is accessible to as inclusive and diverse an audience as possible. To achieve this, in 1993 the Orchestra launched RPO Resound, which has grown to become the most innovative and respected orchestral community and education programme in the UK and internationally.