The legendary Abbey Road Studios has opened its doors after a 10-week closure. The recording studio where the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Oasis and countless other artists recorded classic albums reopened for business on Thursday, June 4.
Melody Gardot was the lucky musician to secure the first recording session. Gardot was due to record at the studios with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra before the coronavirus pandemic forced the studios to close its doors in early March.
Gardot, who was unable to travel, joined remotely from Paris, along with long-time collaborator producer Larry Klein, who joined from L.A. Gardot said, “Knowing that we are the first session back at Abbey Road Studios after its reopening is an absolute honor. I was told that until COVID-19 the studio had never been closed for business in almost 90 years of operation.” She added, “Even during WWII it stayed open. And the fact that we’re recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, helping get the musical community back on track in a way that is safe for all involved, it feels like we are touching history.”
The session also marked the first time the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra had been reunited since the lockdown.
Abbey Road Studios’ managing director, Isabel Garvey, said, “Music is proven to help us get through difficult times, providing escape and easing our mood, so it’s never been more important than in the current circumstances. At Abbey Road, we’ve witnessed the creative community’s desire to create new music and communicate their feelings throughout this time, and we’ve received numerous requests from our clients to get back to work. So we’re thrilled to have established new standards for safe recording and to reopen Abbey Road once more.”
The Abbey Road team has been working with friends across the studio’s network to implement the UK Government guidelines and set the new standards for recording and production under COVID-19. The staff has been exercising caution with engineers and musicians wearing masks where possible while practicing social distancing within the studios to create the safest possible working environment.
Gardot’s new project will have her collaborating with orchestras from around the world, and putting the Royal Philharmonic to work was the first in a planned series that will include recording with the New York Philharmonic next week.