Benedictine nuns signing to Universal

A closed order of Roman Catholic Benedictine nuns is set to storm the charts following a deal with Universal Music.

The Nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, from a remote region of France near Avignon, have won a worldwide search for the world's finest female singers of Gregorian Chant.

As members of a closed convent, the nuns live apart from the outside world and only communicate with visitors, including family, through a grill. Once they have taken vows to enter the convent, the sisters remain there for life.

To avoid intrusion into their daily lives, the Nuns will film their own TV commercial and photograph their own album cover. Dickon Stainer, Managing Director of Decca Records, “passed the contract through the grill, they signed it and passed it back”.

The Nuns' album will feature the most ancient form of Gregorian Chant, some of the oldest notated Western classical music in existence, which the sisters sing eight times a day. Tom Lewis, Head of A&R at Decca Records, says, “When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it's like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, noise and pace of modern living. You're given a glimpse of a secret world of peace and calm.”Decca nuns

In 2008, the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreutz released an album on Universal Music, which sold over 1 million copies. The same year The Priests - three Catholic parish priests - hit the charts following their release on Sony.

The Nuns’ album, ‘Voices – Chant from Avignon’, will be released worldwide in November.

Classic FM is giving listeners a sneak preview of one track from the album on Brighter Breakfast with Tim Lihoreau on Sunday 25 July. You can also see and hear them in the video below...