How do you record an orchestra if you can’t get them to play together? If you’re Melody Gardot, you get them to play apart.
The Grammy-nominated American jazz singer had planned to record part of her new album with the London Symphony Orchestra before the spread of COVID-19 sent Europe (and the rest of the world) into lockdown, confining Gardot to her home in Paris and spoiling those plans to finish recording her music.
However, Gardot came up with a way to finish the album while also offering paid gigs to out-of-work musicians and donating money to help healthcare workers working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
This month, Gardot called upon musicians from around the world to help with her new song From Paris With Love by recording string, woodwind or harp sections from home.
The musicians will play to a score and a backing track, and Gardot’s production team — which includes producer Larry Klein; conductor, arranger and composer Vince Mendoza; and engineer Al Schmitt — will combine the performances into what she’s calling a “digital global orchestra,” making it sound like they’re all playing together in the same room.
“There are so many magnificent artists and musicians on the planet who are not able to live their art or exercise their profession right now,” Gardot said. “I am at home in Paris waiting like everyone else. I realized we can try to do something beautiful all together and come out ‘virtually’ from our confines to continue producing. I hope this project will give love and hope.”
The musicians who are chosen for the song will be paid a standard U.K. studio rate, and the royalties will be donated to Protégé Ton Soignant, a charity helping French healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gardot has also invited fans to be part of the song’s music video by submitting photos and videos of handmade messages, sending love from wherever they are in the world.
From Paris With Love will be the first song we’ll hear from Gardot’s upcoming fifth album to be released by Decca Records.
Gardot’s last studio album was Currency of Man in 2015, and her latest release was Live in Europe in 2018.