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Quiet studio with its walls of straw
1:00pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A MUSICAL duo have landed a European grant to expand their fledgling recording studio.
Joe Henwood, 20, and Tom Excell, 23, built their studio at Oakley Wood Farm in Benson out of straw bales after realising what it would cost to soundproof the barn using conventional building methods.
But now they are attracting up-and-coming bands and their plans have been boosted by a £7,500 EU-funded rural industries grant which will helpthem equip the studio for larger acts.
Mr Henwood said: “I had been playing in bands as a musician for a while, driving up and down the country in vans, and I wanted to pool all my ideas and my friends in one place.
“We started renting the place without thinking about how we were going to soundproof it. “We asked people to come and give quotes for providing acoustic sound insulation, but it was prohibitive.
“Then I remembered that I had played in a straw bale studio at the Glastonbury Festival.”
It took the pair, who met at Leeds College of Music, 15 months to build, with the only professional help being an electrician who linked the wires to the fuse box.
The 580 straw bales came from a farmer in Princes Risborough and about 30 friends joined in the building work.
Mr Henwood and Mr Excell are in an 11-piece band called Nubiyan Twist, currently recording their debut album – a blend of Afro-beat, hip-hop and reggae – in the studio. Meanwhile, his sister Megan has forged a career as a solo singer/songwriter and will be recording her second album at Henwood Studio.
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