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Music to my ears

Homeworking in the recording industry

It all started with a comment from Chris Evans on his Radio 2 show. "I am a homeworker and I love it" he exclaimed during a feature on 'Work from Home Day' carried out in conjunction with website Enterprise Nation. This spurred me to dig deeper into the homeworking habits of the people who make and broadcast music. The results were sweet music to my ears.

House music

Music makers are a homely bunch. After big-budget Abbey Road sessions with his rather well known first band, The Beatles, Paul McCartney headed home to his studios in Campbeltown, Scotland, to record his first debut album.

David Gray's home-recorded 'White Ladder' went platinum in the US and abroad. It was recorded in Gray's apartment on a budget of less than �5,000. Stories of the recording refer to the challenges of producing an album at home, including the need for the team to halt recording for three weeks as the Council carried out repair works on the road outside and Gray's cat destroyed vital pieces of equipment!

Many young bands are following the lead of these famous homeworkers and producing music at home before uploading onto the wildly successful myspace.com; an outlet for talent for young musicians and an opportunity to be spotted.

This certainly worked in the case of Arctic Monkeys, a band from Sheffield that started out distributing music on the site and are now in the record books for having the fastest-selling debut album of all time. Unfortunately it cannot be claimed that they recorded this album at home.

Barn dance

In the same vein as melody-makers, Richard Branson, record retailer, founded Virgin as a record mail order business from his parents home in 1970 and his first artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded Tubular Bells in a converted barn. Branson continues to run his empire from a home office. If this model has worked well for the UK's ninth richest man, it is no surprise that more people are looking to base their business at home.

Quote�Richard Branson runs his empire from a home office�End Quote

And back to music: think of the whole industry of music teachers and self-employed musicians who operate from home, finding it to be quite simply the most convenient and cost-effective location.

From Chris Evans preparing for his prime time radio show through to the next new band jamming in the spare room, the nation's streets are clearly alive with the sound of home-made music.

What next?

Demand is growing for property for homeworkers. Emma Jones looks at two of these live/work developments.

Find out how working for yourself can also help stamp out the gender pay difference

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