Happy Birthday Dame Vera
We did try tweeting Ed Sheeran, currently hogging the No.1 spot in the charts, but he wouldn’t do the right thing and endorse Dame Vera’s new album! However, we were delighted to get the number 3 spot when all the ages of the other artists in the top 5 combined still don’t reach Dame Vera’s 100 years. It was an absolute pleasure to produce this album but quite a challenge as her original vocals, mostly from the 1940s, were recorded in mono, making them much harder to extract and enhance. With the help of Alfie Boe, the Squadronaires, Alexander Armstrong and Aled Jones and not to mention a Symphony Orchestra, we were able to create new arrangements and versions of her wonderful back catalogue to make something very different with which to celebrate this amazing lady's birthday. It was very haunting and moving to hear her vocals in isolation after all these years but what was truly amazing, in a time when as record producers we are constantly asked and expected to tune and edit vocals to the nth degree, was that her vocals were pitch perfect with exquisite phrasing having received none of this technology. That is true artistry and a lesson to today's recording artists of the standards that have gone before them.