One-stop media centre plan for Bideford

TOM Watkins wants everyone to make music – for fun, for entertainment and, for some, to build a career. He has been running his commercial Yard 1 recording studio at Nutaberry Yard, East-the-Water, Bideford, for the past five years, recording, mastering a

TOM Watkins wants everyone to make music - for fun, for entertainment and, for some, to build a career.

He has been running his commercial Yard 1 recording studio at Nutaberry Yard, East-the-Water, Bideford, for the past five years, recording, mastering and producing music for bands and individuals and also working on TV advertisements, film scores, audio books and voice-overs.

Among names from modern entertainment who have used his services, Tom mentions Omar of Fight Star, Tom Yardley Black Twang, Derry Brownson of EMF and Mc and Extreme Streetball host Natty. He has also recently been engaged in music sessions for BBC Blast.

A musician himself, he is keen that everyone should have their chance, be it singing or learning an instrument.


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He is particularly keen that young people, perhaps unable to find a job in difficult times, should find a way to fill their time and express themselves through music.

And he also wants to highlight local talent and help those with real possibilities get recognised in the tough world of music.

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Tom is in the process of expanding his studio to create a large live room, provide a venue for local bands and others to practise and for club use. He also has longer-term plans to add a film studio.

"I want to create a one-stop media centre, offering professional facilities for the area," he said. "We already have professional music teachers in many instruments, enabling this to become a teaching centre.

"I now want to set up a project for young people. With rising unemployment, things such as music lessons fall by the wayside. I would like to help them train free and am hoping to form partnerships with local organisations and with music equipment makers to help sponsor this. I have hopes of some help from the local authorities. and next week I have a representative from one major equipment maker coming over from the United States to see me.

"I want to be able to offer not just one-off sessions, but ongoing training and to help particularly talented musicians, singers and songwriters go a step further. As a musician myself, I know how difficult it is to get your work recognised. There can be no guarantees in the music business. But for those with real talent I will be able to record them and, through my associations in the music world in London, at least get their music heard."

But to do this properly he needs the support of sponsors, said Tom. He can be contacted via e-mail at :-tom@yard1.co.uk or visit the website www.yard1.co.uk

n YARD 1 is offering Gazette readers an opportunity to have a "pop star experience"- go along to the studio, choose your backing tracks and sing to them. Then have your music mixed and recorded and to take home your own CD and photographs of the occasion.

Anyone with music inside them is invited to enter, any age, any style. Simply write to Tom Watkins at Yard 1 Studios, Unit 1 Nutaberry Yard, Bideford EX39 4EA, saying why you would like such an opportunity.

Entries must be received by Wednesday, October 28.

The winner will be announced in the following week's Gazette.

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