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Universal Music has begun searching convents for its next female singing stars.
The leading record company will release an album of plainsong and chant on the Decca label, in preparation for the Pope’s historic visit to the UK in September. It is conducting a worldwide search for nuns, via online, print and television adverts, encouraging them to send in examples of their singing.
The album is the brainchild of Tom Lewis, Head of A&R for Decca. When Decca Records moved offices recently, the TV talent judge was forced to sort through his records, and he came across an old disc of inspiring music sung by nuns.
Decca is now seeking to discover the singing nuns of the digital age and to bring their calm and meditative music to the outside world. Tom Lewis comments: "When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it’s like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, pace and noise of modern living. You’re given a glimpse of another world – a world of peace and calm.” In a filmed video, Tom Lewis asks women from religious orders who are ‘interested in taking their message to a wider community’ to contact him.
In 2008, the Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz released the album Chant: Music for Paradise on Decca, Universal, and last year Alma Mater, featuring the voices of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican Choir, was released on the Universal label Geffen.