I sang at Abbey Road Studios

And I didn't even get a lousy T-shirt!

Just joking. It was actually an awesome day - we (the Really Big Chorus) rehearsed and sang bits of The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins, then (eee!) went and recorded it, conducted by the man himself!

The pieces we did are musically quite simple - not much range - but oh my god they're so slow - it was like a breath-holding contest, because at points it's almost impossible to do it all without taking a breath. I'm not bad at breathing, but this took the cake! Still, rehearsing was fun and the chords were amazing. Singing is much harder work than it looks, by the way - loads of effort had to be put into the pieces.

Initially I was nervous because I'm 15 (not 16 or 18) and wondered if I might be kicked out, but nobody commented on my age - in fact, there were a couple of girls who looked about my age or younger - and I was even complimented on my singing! These people came from all over the country (and I even saw one soprano who was in the Gibraltar National Choir), most of them in choirs too, and it wasn't just very young or very old people (most were middle-aged), but from all ages. There was a real atmosphere of camaraderie as well - people who wouldn't normally have spoken to each other just struck up conversations, and they were really willing to help out as well. Just goes to show, confidence really helps.

The recording studio was big, quite stuffy, and full of...well...stuff - pianos, wires, mikes, the works. We had to put on a weird kind of half-headphone - it only had one headphone and the other end was a kind of clip-cushion-thing.

Why such a stupid design, I hear you ask? It's not actually that stupid...You see, when recording as a choir, we had to listen to a backing track with a metronome, but also to other choristers. We listened to the recording through the headphone and to our fellow choristers with the other ear.

Even though we were only half-listening to it, the backing track sounded magnificent. The annoying thing, though, was that the metronome counted the wrong beats - when we were in 2/2, it counted the crotchets instead of the minims, and when we were in 3/4 (admittedly, a very slow 3/4) it counted the quavers instead of the crotchets!

At the very end, we got to hear our performance. It wasn't properly mixed yet, and we'd done some really cringeworthy things (like coming in late), but it sounded awesome!

One final thing which I've learnt is that although I really enjoyed recording, I prefer live performances more. You see, you know you've only got one chance to get this right in front of an audience - no stopping, no takes - and that just gives me an adrenaline rush. Recording it in a studio just seems a bit like wimping out, if you ask me.

Finally, I apologise for all the exclamation marks. Because I've done this for the first time, I'm really hyper.


  1. Hi, I was also at the Abbey Road recording and it has already been a dream of mine to sing any Karl Jenkins songs with him conducting. Recording it at Abbey Road Studios was the cherry on the cake! When I heard about it I quickly signed up! It was a great day that I will never forget for the rest of my life. Still have happy memories of it until today! :)


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