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Abbey Road re-opens for first recording session since March

By | Published on Friday 5 June 2020

Abbey Road re-opens after COVID-19 lockdown

Universal Music-owned Abbey Road Studios re-opened yesterday, after a more than ten week closure due to COVID-19. The first artist to take part in a recording session was Melody Gardot, recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

With its large space, the studio was able to seat orchestra members at a safe distance from one another, while Gardot actually dialled in remotely from Paris and producer Larry Klein from LA.

“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”, says the studio complex’s Managing Director, Isabel Garvey.

“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”, she goes on. “So, we’re THRILLED to have established new standards for safe recording and to re-open Abbey Road once more”.

Gardot adds: “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 World War Two 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”.

Elsewhere in orchestral news, the BBC has announced that it will broadcast the Royal Opera House in London’s first post-lockdown performance. Set to take place without an audience on 13 Jun, it will be aired on Radio 3 on 15 Jun, with highlights on TV later in the month. The performance will also be streamed for free on YouTube and Facebook, with subsequent performances available to watch live and on demand for £4.99.

While these signs of life in the UK music industry are encouraging, it seems that it will take sometime yet for venues and studios at large to return to anything close to normal. Though rules are being relaxed faster elsewhere in Europe which will provide an interesting test of what is possible while respecting social distancing requirements. Meanwhile, back in the UK, record shops are set to re-open on 15 Jun.