Open lecture by record producer Haydn Bendall

January 30, 2012, 19:00 lecture

RMA’s Department of Music Business and Entertainment Industry Management organized an open lecture by Haydn Bendall, a musician and record producer at the famous Abbey Road Studios. Haydn discussed the fine points of working with artists and record companies in recording albums.

Who is Haydn Bendall?

Formerly the director of Britain’s Music Producers Guild, Haydn Bendall was chief engineer and producer at the famous Abbey Road Studios for 17 years. He began his career at Orange Studios in Soho, then worked as a piano tuner for Steinway & Sons, one of the oldest and largest piano companies. His discography includes albums and singles by Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Kate Bush, Gary Moore, The Alan Parsons Project, Everything But The Girl, Pet Shop Boys, A-ha, Massive Attack, and others. Haydn also worked on the soundtracks for “Twin Peaks,” “Brazil,” “Scandal,” and “The Last Emperor,” whose music won both an Oscar and a Grammy.

More recently, Bendall worked as the producer on “Dreams of My Spring,” the debut album by musician and journalist Igor Grigoriev; recording and mixing of the album took place in London at Abbey Road Studios and RAK.

Bendall himself has always been a devoted fan of good music. He says: “There are still loads and loads of people who love good music. For people to say the music business is dying, it’s just not true. It’s just that certain elements of the music industry are refusing to pay for excellence, but the public is quite willing to pay for excellence. I mean, I’m 60 years old and I’m as big of a music fan as I have ever been, and I’m not alone. And people my age aren’t really interested in peer-to-peer stuff and illegal downloading, we’d rather pay for stuff. iTunes, however good or bad it is, just celebrated its tenth billion download, so that’s not a music business that’s really on its knees. Great music still exists, because artists want to do it and there is a market, however slim.”

What was the lecture about?

In the first part of the lecture, Haydn shared his personal experience in the studio as a producer, sound engineer, and mixer; later, he turned his attention to the psychological aspects of communicating with artists and the special features of negotiating with record companies. The second part of the lecture was devoted to the practical details of creating an album, from the budgetary planning stage to equipping a studio during recording. Haydn also spoke about his impressions of collaborating with Igor Grigoriev, as a representative of the Russian music scene.


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