Olympic Anthems, an endurance race

With the LPO in Abbey Road

Today is the last day of mixing all 205 of the Olympic Anthems for the London 2012 Games.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra are incredible, and having spent 50 hours locked away with them in Studio 2 at Abbey Road, we all know one another that bit better, and I’m totally in love with their sound. If you want proof of how good they are, just listen to some of their live recordings on their own label.

We’ve gone from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe via the Faroes and Tajikistan, and it’s been something I’m not going to forget in a hurry. Jake Jackson, my rather extraordinary producer, had the bright idea of keeping a record of what we’d done on a wallchart… Dr Strangelove would approve…

Jake's map!

The press attention’s been odd and an interesting element to deal with, some of the papers were looking for an angle – eg, ‘what’s the worst anthem?’, ‘What could go horribly wrong?’, and ‘Why do you look like Nick Clegg?’. For the record, I DO NOT LOOK LIKE NICK CLEGG. At all. Really.

A top class athlete with a chap in a suit (me)

On our last day we asked Jonathan Edwards – the world’s favourite triple jumper – to come and join us for the recording of God save the Queen. You’ll have to watch this space to see if he made it onto the final cut of the recording… all I’ll say is that it was the loudest note we recorded across all 974 takes!

Just to show what a good setup we have here at Air Studios.. here’s a snapshot for you:

The mix setup...

Note; a very busy Jake Jackson (two keyboards at the same time a la Rick Wakeman), our spreadsheet of anthems projected, too many apple computers, live streamed football match (ahem)…

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Oorlab says:

    How nice, thank you for the update. I am especially interested in the picture of the studio. Microphone placement, headphones on musicians,.. is there a higher definition picture available?

    You recorded in Abbey Road 2 studio and mixed in the Air studio’s at http://www.airstudios.com/? Why not mixed in Abbey Road?

    For completenss sake I mention here the link to the London Philharmonic label where you can listen to an example recording:

    http://shop.lpo.org.uk/shop/Recordings/detail.asp?5595,0,0,0,0

    Vladimir Jurowski conducted Brahms symphony 1 & 2, recorded live.

    1. radiomovies says:

      Dear Oorlab
      Will rustle up a high def picture asap…
      We mixed at my producer’s studio which is at Air – they’re both favourite studios so it was great to be able to use both!
      Thanks for the link to the Brahms.
      best as ever
      Philip

  2. Bob says:

    I never considered how much effort must go into these recordings. Sound like a very tough but exciting job! Looking forward to hearing them.

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