Welcome To The Real World

Just returned from 4 days at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.

Wow, what a place!  High-end technology and a Pavlovian saliva-inducing stash of microphones & gear.

All that would you expect from a good studio, what makes Real World a uniquely wonderful residential studio is the great effort made to make the artists feel relaxed with wonderful surroundings.  The studios are perfectly sound proofed yet awash with natural light. Cast your gaze up from the mixing desk and you are treated with a delightful view of a bridge over a stream amidst gorgeous English countryside.  Stroll through the picturesque Wilstshire grounds, coffee in hand between takes. Or why not, mid-recording, gaze at a running stream through the glass floor of the studio.  A team of helpful people or on hand to keep you in excellent home-cooked food & endless hot beverage. The ideal place to work.

So what did the precocious Peter Gregson and I achieved in those 4 short days?  A superb recording of Steve Reich’s 2003 work ‘Cello Counterpoint’ for 8 cellos. What a pieces:  labyrinthine rhythmic ideas, stunning ensemble interplay & a deep jzz-influenced harmonic language.  Our production really is something special. But we earned it, 4 looong days of intense work, We go back to mix in the next few weeks, (together with some original compositions) and look forward to sharing the album with the world.

Now for some unedited sleep.

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