What I did at the weekend !

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Sue
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What I did at the weekend !

Postby Sue » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:04 am

I recorded an album at Abbey Rd Studios!! :shock: :D

I'm a member of Glee Club Uk - community choir ( think Military Wives ) and 230 of us went along on Sunday to record a Christmas album for 2016, just because we could! We'd been rehearsing for several months and it was finaly time.

The original plan was that I was going as a passenger in someone else's car along with a couple of others. We were going to drive to the O2 - ( 1hr or so from home in SE London) park there and get the Tube to Abbey Wood (half hr by underground train to NW London) however middle of last week the Tube staff announced a strike for the weekend ! Getting buses from the O2 wasn't practical ( 4 changes of bus and over 1 1/2hrs assuming we could actually get ON the buses as they would be extra busy) so, major rethink required. In the end the strike was called off but we carried on with our newest plans.

The original driver had already said she didn't want to drive across London so I hatched a plan. Mike would drive us in our car,- myself in front of car and the other 3 in the back, right to a car park close to the studios that I managed to find. £20 to park for the day - not too bad for London prices.

Luckily it was a dry, cold, sunny but windy day in the gap between two major storms. We left home at 7.15am to go and collect the others. Mike knew he wouldn't be allowed in, so he left us at the studios and went off to walk round the nearby Regents Park for the day.

We took some quick photos on the crossing made famous by the Beatles - risking life and limb in the traffic,( one photo downloaded from the Abbey Rd webcam) signed the walls and then went into the studios.

The corridors are lined with signed photos, posters etc of all the famous people who have recorded there but we were told not to take photos except in our studios. There we too many staff around to risk sneaky ones.... there are no tours or anything like that so the only way you can get into the building is to be doing a recording.

Went downstairs to the cafe with its courtyard garden complete with Abbey Rd street sign on the wall and had a quick coffee and a bacon sandwich, left our coats etc in Studio 2 ( that the Beatles used) few quick pics in there where we went upstairs and snuck into the control room and saw the mixing desk, then into Studio 1 for the recording.

The choir had been split into 2 parts of 115 people each with one lot doing the first session (us) and the others recording after us in the later afternoon and then the two recordings will be merged together.

Studio 1 is the biggest purpose built recording studio in the world, usually used for orchestras and film scores. We had one eared headphones so we could hear our music and still hear ourselves singing and microphones everywhere costing we were told over £60,000 set up to catch every sound we made. We had two Abbey Rd sound engineers in a big glass fronted control room at one end which we weren't allowed into running the 72 channel mixing desk. There was a mic RIGHT over my head (gulp ! ) I've read the biographies of the two engineers - all those famous people, huge musical events and then recording us! We also had a video crew filming us, so no pressure !!

Anyway, we had 7 songs to do in 2 1/2 hrs. Our Glee Club leader / arranger / conductor Richard wanted it to be perfect so we had to re-record various sections until he was happy with it all. Standing and singing pretty much non stop the whole time was surprisingly tiring! It was over all too quickly then back to Studio 2 to get our stuff out before the 2nd group could start.

Photo album here for any of you who are interested: https://goo.gl/photos/ZVhHZuuVg8DdwU3A7

We went next door into the official shop to buy a few stupidly expensive souvenirs, had to be done - it was so busy with all of us we had to queue for an hour to pay!

Short walk back to the car park to meet Mike then the drive home through central London. Made a bit more "interesting" when the sat nav decided to stop working ! Back home at 6.30pm.

Anyway, not many "ordinary" people, especially us non musicians can say "I made an album at Abbey Rd! "

Certainly a day to remember!

Anyone else do anything interesting over the weekend ?

Sue
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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby GORDON » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:48 pm

A lovely memory for you Sue.

I recorded there with the Wren Orchestra when they did a short version of Quest for the Eye of the Wind Rhapsody.

Prior to that I was very honoured to be given a guided tour of the studio by one Cliff Richard,which was lovely because even he was in awe of the place.He showed me the studio where the Beatles created all their masterpieces with the great George Martin.

Anyway back to you Sue.Thanks for sharing such a lovely detailed memory of your special day,I'm sure you will treasure the memory for ever.

What is life all about but to try and create good memories and to try and make a difference during the short time we are here.

We are proud of you Sue.

Hugs from us both to the both of you.

G&H.xxx

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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby keithmeredith » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:34 pm

Hi Sue,

When will your recording be released onto an unsuspecting world? Are you aiming for a Christmas number one?

I've been past the studio many times in my professional capacity, pointing the place out to my passengers, but to go in AND record - WOW.

Top day out

K xx

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Roger USA
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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Roger USA » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:52 pm

Hi Sue,

What a fabulous (or should that be "fab"?) experience! A truly memorable day (in the life).

I did listen to the Beatles White Album over the weekend, but that's as close as I got to Abbey Road.

Oh and I watched our Carolina Panthers lose the Super Bowl.

All The Best,

Roger

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Sue
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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Sue » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:31 pm

keithmeredith wrote:Hi Sue,

When will your recording be released onto an unsuspecting world? Are you aiming for a Christmas number one?

I've been past the studio many times in my professional capacity, pointing the place out to my passengers, but to go in AND record - WOW.

Top day out

K xx



Hi Keith,

it will be out for Christmas 2016 and although it will be on general sale it was done primarily for us to enjoy doing and as an achievement, and for our friends and family ( guess what everyone will be getting as a stocking filler ! ) :wink:

I assume any proceeds will be for a charity - as Glee Club we often do fund raiser type performances. Not sure how we're ever going to top this though....

Sue
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Tom McCauley
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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Tom McCauley » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:41 am

Hi Sue,

So pleased to hear about the new album. I'm sure it will do very well. Well done! :)

My plans for the weekend (just to warn you the next part of this is a bit devastating)... visiting my Gran. Sadly at the end of last year, my grandpa died, with my mum, my auntie and my gran by his side. So things were emotional for me and my family. I woke up with the devasting news that he'd gone in the early hours of October 3rd, (sorry if I had to break that)

Tom

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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Sue » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:31 am

Hi Tom,

so sorry about your Grandpa. I'm sure your Gran really looks forward to your visits and you can remember him together,

Sue
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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Tom McCauley » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:46 pm

Sue wrote:Hi Tom,

so sorry about your Grandpa. I'm sure your Gran really looks forward to your visits and you can remember him together,

Sue


It sure will Sue. Thank you. Seems hard when you have to travel nearly 300 miles (as my Gran lives in Wales, but has spent the last few months here in Manchester) and on behalf of me and my family we appreciate your thoughts as it means a lot to us.
Tom McCauley

Presenter at Warrington Hospital (www.radiogeneral.co.uk)

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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby Tom McCauley » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:42 pm

My gran was pleased to see me this weekend, had a good weekend with her.
Tom McCauley

Presenter at Warrington Hospital (www.radiogeneral.co.uk)

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Re: What I did at the weekend !

Postby piotrwargan » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:32 am

Hello,

I am proud to know people who recorded at the Abbey Road Studios!

Sue: Congratulations on such an achievement and on such an exciting weekend.

As for my weekend.... (now there goes a reference to an old movie). If you remember the movie "That Man from Rio", and the adventures of Belmondo, then I can tell you that my weekend was not spent in the style of Belmondo, but rather in the manner of his buddy. ;-)

All the best,

Piotr


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