My Abbey Road: Nainita Desai #AbbeyRoad90

My Abbey Road: Nainita Desai #AbbeyRoad90

Find out the esteemed composer’s favourite memories and recordings from Abbey Road Studios.

Getting her start as a sound engineer, Nainita worked in various studios around London and ended up an assistant engineer for one of her idols, Peter Gabriel. Since following her conviction to become a composer, she has written music for loads of projects in film and TV, from the BAFTA-winning documentary For Sama, to Channel 4’s Lonely Planet, to her incredible score for the new Netflix film 14 Peaks.

Nainita joined us last Saturday for our Abbey Road Equalise Festival where she shared insights and advice from her career to a packed room of aspiring female composers. Watch back on our YouTube channel.


What does Abbey Road mean to you?

"As a young teen I dreamed of being a music engineer working at Abbey Road. The stories, artists and music that permeate the walls of this iconic studio, nay; British institution - are legendary and the foundation of our musical history.

Superlatives don’t do it justice. There’s a unique vibe there that’s indescribable – from the people, the hospitality, the tech, the atmosphere – it’s simply the best and then some more."


Your favourite personal moment or memory?

"My first time recording at Abbey Road which was the score for 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible in Studio One for Netflix.

I soaked up every second of that magical day; one of the proudest moments of my career with the best musicians and team. The sound that the 30-piece string players made was epic, it truly brought me to tears.
Some of the memories imbued in those walls helps make your music sound that little bit more special."

Watch 14 Peaks Making The Soundtrack below:


Your favourite recordings?

Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey

"The John Barry Bond scores played a huge part of my musical upbringing and this iconic song is the pinnacle of all Bond songs for me. Jimmy Page who was session guitarist at the time said Bassey recorded 15 takes before almost passing out on the big high note at the end! If only I could go back in time and be a fly on the wall."

Kate Bush - Babooshka

"My favourite recording is the astonishing Babooshka by Kate Bush who was a huge influence and role model for me.

As a technology pioneer and perfectionist, she used the first sampler instrument the Fairlight. Legend has it that she broke all the dishes in the Abbey Road canteen to achieve the right sound of the plates being smashed at the end of the song."

#MyAbbeyRoad #AbbeyRoad90 #NainitaDesai
Royal Television Society award winning composer, Nainita Desai, is an Ivor Novello 2020 nominee and World Soundtrack Awards 2021 winner for Discovery of the Year. She is a trailblazer in the world of film & TV who has brought her unique voice to the scores of hundreds of acclaimed films. She is also a double BIFA nominee and BAFTA Breakthrough.

Amongst various BAFTA, Oscar and Emmy acclaimed productions, Nainita’s recent projects include Oscar nominated and BAFTA, BIFA & Cannes winning feature doc For Sama, Sundance and BIFA winning feature The Reason I Jump, Bafta nominated American Murder [Netflix’s most watched documentary], ITV crime drama series The Tower (Gemma Whelan), BBC dramas Unprecedented, (James Norton, Olivia Williams) and Maryland as well as Interactive game / video game Telling Lies, the acclaimed release by Annapurna Interactive.

Current scores include Amazon and Apple TV feature: The Wall – Climb For Gold, Netflix: 14 Peaks (exec: Jimmy Chinn) as well as upcoming drama series for BBC1, SKY, NBC and other forthcoming shows for ITV, C4, Apple TV+, Netflix including a video game for Electronic Arts.

Following a degree in Maths and studying sound for film at the NFTS in the UK, Nainita began her career as a sound designer on feature films for directors including Werner Herzog and Bertolucci, as well as assistant music engineering for Peter Gabriel.

She moves seamlessly between working with orchestras, to creating scores that incorporate electronics, world music elements, sound design and found sound, all of which has informed her experimental and deeply immersive approach to composition.

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