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Chemistry fizzes again for Alchemea at Kilburn’s ICMP

North London music performance teaching school opens studio and welcomes renewed initiatives

The ICMP (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance) celebrated the opening of a new studio facility, and the successful launch of its Creative Music Production courses, with a gathering of friends, clients and press at its north-west London HQ at the beginning of October. Mike Sinnott – former director of the much-regarded but ill-fated Alchemea College in Islington, and now facilities manager for ICMP – was on hand to praise the operation.

“I was very lucky with Alchemea having to close, to have the opportunity to join ICMP, and help and develop and share the same ideals, and to create an environment that looks great and feels great and be involved with the right people,” said Sinnott. “Alchemea was a success because the place had a vibe: the tutors and the commitment to quality. Hopefully a little bit of Alchemea can come through and affect the whole of ICMP; and [vice versa]. We’ve got a great team here.”

Steely Dan producer Gary Katz sent a short video message for the launch: “I was there last month, had a great time at the masterclass, I think you will too. Enjoy the day!’ (ICMP director Pete Whittard explained the link with Katz: “One of our songwriting module leaders, Julian Marshall, was produced by Gary in the 1980s, and we got to know him through that. He’s a patron to the school and he does masterclasses here.”)

The studio build was a 12-month project, managed and designed by Tony English of Slow Glass Creative studio build (English also built Urchin Studios for Dan Cox in north London). ICMP says it worked closely with their partners to provide students with the “very best equipment” as they begin their careers in production at ICMP.

The institute was the first customer for Audient’s latest ASP8024 (Heritage Edition) large format console. This was configured especially with two producer panels in order to mount Avid’s S3 digital control surface. Outboard available at the studio includes a UAD 6176 Vintage Channel Strip and a Lexicon PCM 92 FX processor. Need a DAW? Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live are all installed. Monitoring includes Focal SM6 Trio6 Be 3-way monitors.

ICMP – established around 30 years ago – has invested nearly £250k in facilities in the last 12 months. It moved to its current Kilburn address, from Acton, around ten years ago.

Pictures: Second: ICMP director Pete Whittard (left) and former Alchemea director Mike Sinnott in front of the specially configured Audient analogue desk. Last: Tony English (in the cap) designed the studio.