Today’s recording took me down to Plymouth on the Southern coast of Devon. I suppose because it was Devon I had decided in my head that wasn’t very far from the Cotswolds. Essentially just a bit down the M5. Turned out to be quite a long trek down the M5 – Exeter was only just about half way it seemed. Nevertheless I arrived in good time – indeed in sufficient time to stop for a spot of Breakfast. Well breakfast is perhaps over stating it – essentially a bacon sandwich and a latte from McDonalds. But at 6.30am when this is the best on offer, it is surprisingly pleasing.
Arriving at the school just before 730am it was pleasing to notice the hall was easily accessible from the car park, so getting the kit inside the recording venue was not to arduous a task. Before long everything was set up and ready.
Over the past few weeks I have seen a variety of approaches to social distancing in schools. This has ranged from 90 children in a classroom with the windows shut through to a maximum of 15 pupils in the school hall, spaced about 5 metres apart.
At Dunstone Primary School there were good measures in place for the appropriate social distancing and all staff were wearing masks. The benches marked out clearly where the pupils were to stand / sit. Not only that they were thoroughly disinfected after each class came in to do their recording. After the school recording was finished, I was asked to stay on a bit longer to record a song with some of the staff.
It turned out this was not a staff song for the album but a Christmas Carol for use in a local church Christmas service. Given the circumstances and knowing how challenging this all is from my own experience with church, I was only too happy to stay on a bit longer to help out with this. A few staff were gathered to sing O Little Town of Bethelehem. As it transpired however, the backing track was entirely inappropriate. No matter though, as in the corner was a grand piano – and it was actually in tune! So yours truly pressed record and then went to play the piano.