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Recording a Classic: Amy Winehouse – Love is a Losing Game

Every term, final year students on our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering Degree programme are tasked with re-recording a classic track as part of their assessment. A recent choice of song was the late, great, Amy Winehouse’s achingly gorgeous classic: ‘Love is a Losing Game’. To record the track, our degree students were given the musical talents of several Point Blank staffers, together with a string quartet from the Royal Academy of Music, professional singer Valerie Etienne and Advanced Composition instructor Claud Ruelle for the arrangement. We also captured much of the process on film – alongside interviews and insights from the students, players and instructors – to give you an in-depth insight into the study experience for this aspect of this degree programme, validated and accredited by Middlesex University.

PB’s Head of Curriculum Ski Oakenfull was one of the masterminds behind the task, and we grab some time with him to get an explanation of why this project is such a useful learning tool for the students. We meet Creative Content Developer Graham Silbiger, who found time between developing and updating content for our groundbreaking Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to lay down the bass and guitar parts. Senior Studio Assistant Ricky Vianello, (one half of pulverising techno duo Tapefeed) also features in the video, working with the students to lay down the drums on the recording.

As part of the second studio session, we get an insight on the compositional aspects of the deconstruction, with PB’s Claude Ruelle arranging strings for the track. Of the quartet, Petru Cotarcea shares some of his experience, citing the value for students at the Royal Academy of Music to work in a studio environment. Plus we hear from Sound Engineering instructor and renowned record producer Justin Lindley on what role he plays as an instructor, taking something of a backseat and allowing the students to experiment.

The feedback from the students taking part was hugely positive and we hope this video captures that enthusiasm as much as coveys what a fantastic track the material is. For more information on any of our courses, including our other degrees in Music Production and DJ Practice and Music Industry Management, or to book a studio tour, please contact us on +44 20 7729 4884.

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