We are used to leaving Wiltshire early in the morning on the basis that Recordings 4 Schools operate all over the UK and if we are to spend a full day recording in a school we need to arrive by 0730. Wigan is a bit of a trek from Wiltshire so would mean leaving around 4am. However, the previous day we were recording at St Ives Junior School down in Cornwall. It was therefore even further to travel. Nevertheless despite the odds I was on site in Wigan just after 7am with all the recording gear ready to unload just as I had arranged with the Deputy Head teacher.
Unfortunately no one had told the caretaker so when I arrived, firstly I was denied access to the school car park and then I was told I would have to wait until 8am when someone else would arrive and decide whether I could be let in. This was all a little frustrating particularly as everything had been confirmed in writing, and more than once so that everyone was aware of the plan for the recording day.
However, sometimes the message doesn’t always get passed on. Fortunately it wasn’t too much of an issue and I was still ready to record from shortly after 9am.
In fact during the setup the school were running breakfast club and I was able to get a slice of toast and jam along with a coffee to aid the setting up which was most pleasing!
The recording then proceeded in the standard format of a couple of songs from each year group. In fact the pupils had been extremely well prepared and recorded most of their songs in one or two takes. Then just before lunch we go to the staff song. It turned out the staff had found less time to rehearse their two songs… Of course it is always difficult to get all the staff together for such things and as it was we had to record the staff in two separate sessions and then merge the two together. This is not an ideal way to blend voices but of course you cannot leave an entire school unattended whilst the staff record a song!
Nevertheless everything proceeded to plan and after a short break for lunch we returned for an afternoon recording session and got all the planned songs recorded in good time.
With this recording co-inciding with my 42nd birthday, I then headed to Manchester to meet a friend of mine for dinner. So after much extensive research it turns out the meaning to life, the universe and everything is a recording in Wigan!