Lockdown LAMDA recordings
Some of the final year acting students at LAMDA were due to record radio plays in our radio studio when C19 Lockdown hit. So, instead, we have gone online and are recording the productions remotely, via a platform called Cleanfeed. This is a steep learning curve for everyone involved – actors, director (me), and recording engineer (my brilliant colleague Jack Thrush). We have recorded 2 plays with actors literally phoning in their performances from across the country – from Glasgow to Devon, and as far out as Malta – on an array of mics ranging from I-phones to gaming mics to USB Rhodes. Each actor worked in a ‘dead’ den built of cushions, blankets and duvets, constructed in their bedrooms or wherever the quietest place in the house might be. Somehow Jack the Audio Magician managed a balance and quality of sound that brought them together into the same audio space and gradually the actors forgot they were scattered and began to work as an ensemble in this virtual studio.
It has been very exciting to turn an experiment born of necessity into a brand new, legitimate way of working. As a result, we find ourselves in the vanguard of the audio industry’s creative response to Lockdown – professional companies such as Big Finish and Audible have begun working in this way to keep their productions going – even the BBC’s Archers cast are recording from home at the moment. It is gratifying to be equipping our students to work in a world that is currently changing under everyone’s feet.