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Angel engineer’s close call in Italy

test 5 May 2009

UK/ITALY: Angel Studios’ Gary Thomas narrowly escaped the devastating earthquake in the Abruzzi Mountains, Italy, last month, reports PSN-e. Normally based in Islington, Thomas – who is Angel Studios’ senior engineer – was in Italy to engineer an orchestral session for an old friend, horn player Jonathan Williams.

The session was undertaken to record music for the French film, La Blonde aux seins nus, written and directed by Manuel Pradal.

Williams lives in the village of Fossa near L’Aquila in the Abruzzi Mountains, where he frequently records in an old municipal hall with an orchestra comprising local musicians from various Rome-based orchestras.

As good fortunate would have it, Thomas and assistant James Stones flew home just hours before the earthquake of April 6 struck L’Aquila and the surrounding villages. Others were not so lucky – composer Carlo Crivelli lost his home, while Manuel Pradal and his family were staying in a hotel that sustained serious damage, although they did manage to travel to Rome immediately after the quake.

"It came as a great shock when I heard as the locals had been joking all week about the tremors," said Thomas. "The area has suffered a lot of damage and had it happened a day or so earlier, who knows what would have happened to us. It is very sad that such an idyllic and quiet village with such a great venue is virtually uninhabitable and may be for several months."

Back in Islington, Angel Studios has recently hosted sessions by acts including Yusuf Islam, The Feeling, Tina Arena and soundtrack composer George Fenton.

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