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Abbey Road: memory lane

18 July, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab

A recording session at Abbey Road’s Studio Two in the early 1960s

FIFTY years to the day since The Beatles first took the steps that transformed an Abbey Road zebra crossing from a standard road feature to a place of pilgrimage for fans, the world-famous studios begins its 2019 series of exclusive lectures.

Taking place in Studio Two – the scene of many a historic recording – the lectures will explore the past, present and future of the iconic recording studio, an exclusive insight for anyone with a passion for music.

Visitors will be given the chance to explore behind the scenes of the studios, which are normally closed to the public, before music producers Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, authors of Recording the Beatles – which charts the eight-year recording period that defined the studios – present lectures titled The Studios That Became A Legend.

The talks, updated from the 2018 series, will take attendees through the studios’ 87-year-old history through to its biggest transformation in recent years – and into what lies ahead for the contemporary recording studio.

The presenters will explore the studios’ legacy of innovation from the patenting of stereo to the invention of numerous recording techniques used across the globe today.

They will also cover the studios’ rich experience in film scoring and demonstrate how they have been used to record some of the biggest movies ever made, including Star Wars, the Lord of The Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter films, the Hobbit movies, Gravity, The King’s Speech, Black Panther and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water.

For those interested in the history of the many life-changing albums that have been produced at Abbey Road, and in particular for fans of the Beatles, the event, which runs over two weekends, August 8-11 and 16-18, is a rare opportunity to step inside the famous house and see where recorded music history has been made. Studio Two is home to countless landmark recordings by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Oasis, Radiohead, and Adele.

The studios open to guests an hour before the lectures to allow for a short behind-the-scenes tour and a chance to explore, taking in the renowned Control Room and, for the first time ever, there will be the chance to access the famous Studio Two Echo Chamber.

Up close, attendees will be able to check out the historic pianos and vintage recording equipment which have contributed to major developments in music history and, if they are lucky, hear some of the music as it was first recorded with live demonstrations.

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