Celebrated for recording the likes of Edward Elgar, The Beatles and Lady Gaga, the studio’s mixing desks powered up for a socially-distanced session with acclaimed U.S. jazz singer Melody Gardot.
“We didn’t even stop for a World War so it feels like a real moment to come back,” Isabel Garvey, Abbey Road Studios’ managing director, told Reuters.
Music industry workers have been among those hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdown, enacted in Britain on March 23. Many have been shut out of state lockdown support programmes because of the irregular nature of work in music.
Garvey said about half of Abbey Road’s staff had been unable to work away from the studio building during the lockdown.
“I think music carried people through the last 10, 11 weeks of lockdown,” Garvey said.
“So to have artists back recording, making music again, possibly even relating to the experience they’ve had, just feels really good. We need it as humans I think.”
Gardot’s recording session offered a potential glimpse into the future of music production in a post-COVID world.
The singer joined remotely from Paris with her producer Larry Klein from Los Angeles. Both appeared on big screens at Abbey Road to communicate with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which performed there for the first time since lockdown.
“We’re using the best of technology and musicians in the space to make the whole thing work,” said Garvey.