As one of the Ambassadors for Theatr na nÓg, I was invited to go and sit in on a recording session for the music for this year’s Autumn show- “Eye of the Storm”. Located on a hill in what feels like the middle of nowhere is Acapela Studios, a truly unique venue. I entered the semi converted chapel (the pews are still used for seating during gigs & shows in the venue!) and stood by the bar. I admired the quirky décor; hanging from the ceiling above my head were lightbulbs inside trumpets and on the windowsills were other brass instruments in vases. I studied the room for a few seconds before noticing that to my right, through a pane of soundproof glass was Amy Wadge, country music singer-songwriter and composer of all of the songs for “Eye of the Storm”, mid recording! Having previously heard the songs during a script reading session before Christmas, it was amazing to hear them come to life in front of me, by such a rich and gorgeous voice.
I was lead up a narrow staircase into the mixing room, laden with various string instruments, cups of coffee and musical men chatting about the intricate details of the tracks. As I stood and observed, I realised the scale of work that goes into recording a song, the production of each millisecond.
After taking a seat back downstairs I chatted with Geinor Styles, artistic director of Theatr na nÓg and writer of “Eye of the Storm” about her ideas and collaboration with Amy Wadge. It was really interesting learning that it was a process which involved Amy throughout, the two discussed ideas and worked creatively together, discovering how Amy’s stunning music goes hand in hand with Geinor’s beautiful story.
After Amy had finished recording her vocals, I managed to grab her for a chat, too! I was interested to know how Amy felt about writing with a brief and what she thought about the script. It was great to be able to chat with both Amy and Geinor and to see whether Amy’s music had influenced Geinor's writing and vice versa. What was clear after speaking to them both was that the creative collaboration completely worked. Amy’s genuine love for the story and main character “Emmie” meant that she really invested in the music and getting to be a fly on the wall of the recording process was something I really enjoyed.
After sitting quietly drinking cappuccinos in amidst the hustle bustle of a recording studio; hearing strings, piano, organ and barbershop quartet-esque harmonising, my eyes have been opened to the hard work that goes into every note that is recorded. Peering through the glass of the studio into the musical word of “Eye of the Storm” has really got me excited for what’s to come this Autumn!