28 November 2011
At the beginning of 2011, we launched a worldwide search for original, unsigned and undiscovered composers, in celebration of our 80th anniversary. The Anthem Competition was open to musicians of all ages across the globe.
After weeks of reviewing over 900 entries in total, the judges made their final selection of 8 winners. Their unique prize was the opportunity to record their original work in Studio One, with the internationally regarded London Symphony Orchestra, some of the UK’s finest singers and conducted by renowned composer Eric Whitacre.
Jonathan Allen, Abbey Road Studios engineer, said: “Based around the concept of anthems, the competition was designed to be inclusive and embrace a musical theme that, like the studios itself, welcomed many styles of music. Having an orchestra and choir available to the composers also meant the scale of the music-making had few limits.
The winning compositions reflect this diversity and ambition, from the delicate string and vocal textures of Zhangyi Chen’s ‘Ariadne’s Love’ to the haunting and powerful ‘Made of Ghosts’, written and performed by the band Jack in Water. There are beautiful settings of rarely-heard text performed a cappella by the Eric Whitacre Singers written by Daniel Brinsmead (‘Come Sleep’), Tina Andersson (‘The Angel’) and Daniel Elder (‘The Heart’s Reflection’).
We also recorded a rousing pop ballad by Steven Lindsay (‘A Million Stars’), an anthem to the joy of singing performed and written by Steven Jackson (‘So Alive, So Clear’) and Cyrus Almonde’s unique and rollicking celebration about being welcomed into the afterlife (‘Thank You Eternally’) which we found life-affirming and fun.”
We are delighted to announce that you can now listen to the finished results of the winners’ time at the studios!
Click here to stream the winning anthems.
You can also check out a special series of behind the scenes videos, as we follow the winners through the recording process. The first in the series, featuring Eric Whitacre introducing the anthems, is available now.
We’ll be posting a new video at www.youtube.com/abbeyroad every day this week, so make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel!