The Directory 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.”
“To have access to some of the best musicians from around the world from the comfort of our homes utilising simple tech many musicians already possess, can bring us all together as a global community and we find new ways of working together, something vital in these days of social distancing.”
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.”
As currently these entries are neither vetted nor verified, The Ivors Academy does not endorse any individual or service by inclusion in this Directory. Nor can we suggest rates, which remain the responsibility of the parties involved. You might find the Musicians Union website helpful for current rates here and here. We recommend both parties agree rates and costs before any work starts. The Ivors Academy is unable to intervene in any dispute arising between individual parties, but we will monitor closely any reports we get.
The Ivors Academy would like to thank Stu Kennedy of Continuata for his support and generosity in developing the app and website