Press Releases 2014-2015

New lease of life for iconic Swansea recording studio

03.11.2014

As part of an exciting new initiative between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the Welsh Government, and Sinffonica Wales - the sound studio in which poet, Dylan Thomas, broadcasted many of his recordings – has returned to host an orchestral recording on a large scale.

Last week, inaugural recordings of the forthcoming film version of Under Milk Wood took place in a studio that boasts superb acoustics and proud historical provenance.

Activity culminated last Saturday when a philharmonic orchestra made up of Welsh musicians performed and recorded the orchestral score for the film adaptation of Thomas’ most famous work. 

Part of the original BBC building in Alexandra Road where Dylan Thomas regularly broadcasted, the studio now forms  part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Dylan Thomas House and this recording is the first step of an ambitious project that will hopefully see the studio refurbished and transformed into a state of the art recording facility.

Although most large scale UK film scores are recorded in studios such as London’s Abbey Road, or overseas, in cities like Prague and Budapest, this one-off project has proved that Swansea can compete with the European studios by hosting this large-scale recording.

This exciting initiative – which saw the recording of the score of Kevin Allen’s forthcoming film adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ famous play for voices - is the beginning of an ambitious multi-faceted creative strategy that will accommodate a viable, state of the art, multipurpose recording studio facility where orchestral recordings of the highest calibre will be employing the talents of Welsh musicians and recording artistes.

Following the success of the recording of the Under Milk Wood film score, it is hoped that a much larger project will enable the studio to be developed as a semi commercial facility which will link to enterprising new higher education creative media courses.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Welsh Government are currently planning the refurbishment of the studio facilities, which they hope will eventually  be operated as a semi-commercial entity  in conjunction with a third party expert provider. It is hoped that the fully refurbished studio will integrate a wide spectrum of newly developed university courses that will run in tandem with professional recording projects in a revamped space that will accommodate one of the most sophisticated sound mixing desks in the world.

Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “The creative industries are a very important sector for the Welsh economy and the restoration of these historic studios is a further boost to their growth. These facilities will add to Wales’ growing reputation worldwide as destination for major film and television productions. I am determined to support the creative industries across Wales to create economic growth and jobs.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “This is an exciting development for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and is part of our multi-million investment in the heart of Swansea.  The University’s recording studio in Alexandra Road has potential to be the best in the UK and it is already an excellent resource for our music technology students.  This development not only creates a commercial outlet for the University but it also brings a range of industries involved in the production of music into the University. The fact that we can now develop this business in Swansea, and Wales, is great news and will enhance our already considerable contribution to the region’s creative product.”

Kevin Allen, director and producer of the soon to be released movie version of Under Milk Wood says: “In terms of all the terrific stuff that’s happening in the Welsh film industry right now, this could not have come at a better time. It’s just fantastic to be able to record the film score of Under Milk Wood here in Swansea. It’s crazy that I would normally have to go to Prague or Budapest to record a philharmonic score that can, and should, engage the talents of home grown musicians. I think Swansea can compete with the best facilities of this kind in Europe.”

Mark Thomas, composer of the new Under Milk Wood film adds, “This is not only great news for Swansea, but also great news for the whole spectrum of professional musicians across the country, and also for the cream of the crop sound technology students who will be able to train for a viable film and TV industry career in this fantastic new studio.”

The recently filmed version of Under Milk Wood has been shot back-to-back in both English and Welsh languages in Solva, Pembrokeshire. The Welsh version Dan Y Wenallt will be released in cinemas across Wales on December 11th and will be broadcast by co-financiers, S4C, on December 27th.

The English version of the film will be released in UK & International cinemas in late February 2015. 

Note to Editor

  1. The Philharmonic orchestral soundtrack was recorded at Dylan Thomas House, the Swansea studios where Thomas made many broadcast recordings.  The recording is part of a new Welsh music initiative involving Sinffonica Wales, the Welsh Government and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. 
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / sian-elin.davies@tsd.uwtsd.ac.uk / 07449 998476