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Leading Ivors Academy composers establish a new Remote Recording Directory to continue working through Covid-19



Leading Ivors Academy composers establish a new Remote Recording Directory to continue working through Covid-19 

A free and open database to connect composers for film, TV and games with professional musicians able to record from home has been launched by The Ivors Academy. 

It comes in response to the impact of coronavirus, which has seen thousands of musicians losing work as tours, gigs, concerts and studio sessions have been cancelled or postponed. 

As the leading campaigning organisation for the UK’s composer and songwriter community, The Ivors Academy is now promoting a Remote Recording Directory to bridge this gap. Many of the Academy’s members are professional composers and songwriters used to working from home studios. 

The database lists professional self-recording instrumentalists and vocalists along with technical roles including music editors, orchestrators, copyists and record/mixing and mastering engineers. Those interested can be added to the Directory by providing their skills, experience and consent for their details to be shared publicly. 

Award-winning film composer and Ivors Academy Media Committee member Nainita Desai came up with the idea after being commissioned to produce a live orchestral score for a Netflix feature two days into the UK’s coronavirus lockdown when all non-essential work had been suspended and recording studios were closed. 

Nainita Desai said, “With the UK in lockdown I realised that the only way I was going to be able to deliver the score was to bring musicians on board that could remote record themselves with their own studio facilities. At the same time I started getting messages from musicians who had suddenly lost all their work overnight. It immediately dawned on me that I could bring these two needs together.” 

Commenting on the initiative, Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy said, “Composers and songwriters are innovating during Covid-19 to keep their careers and the industry alive. We encourage all music makers to join the Academy’s growing online community and make use of this new directory - this is vital support, at a critical time for creatives across the music industry.”  

Nainita created a list of remote musicians who could self-record to produce the score and put out a call on social media. Nainita said, “There has been an incredible response from the community. Within a week I had over 350 musicians from all over the world respond, who play regularly on stage shows such as Hamilton or major feature films including Phantom Thread, Lord of the Rings and engineers who have worked with Laura Mvula, Adele and Alicia Keys.” 

Nainita describes her process of producing scores with musicians working remotely, “I send rough mixes of my music, along with sheet music, for musicians to play to. Using live video apps I can connect and communicate with them. Within hours recorded files start to be sent back to me, which I then edit and mix into the score.” 

While Nainita has used the database to produce the score for Netflix she says lockdown has made her appreciate what is so special about musicians playing together, “I do hope that once social distancing has come to pass, it makes us value live music and collaboration more. Nothing can beat a bunch of human beings creating live music in a room together.”

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