Watch out X Factor! The Christmas No. 1 slot could be challenged by a new charity single that is released this month to raise money for the homeless charity Shelter and for a local youth centre in Gloucestershire.
Written by Gloucestershire composer Katie Elliott and lyricist Anthony Marks, Meet Me in Winter was produced by Ian Dean, who has previously worked with Sir Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler and Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Award-winning audio post facility Hackenbacker offered free studio time and the services of Hackenbacker founder Nigel Heath to deliver a 5.1 mix for the song’s promo video. Heath has also mixed and mastered the single, which will be downloadable from iTunes and available at retail from November 21st.
“I first heard about this project through Ian, who I first met when I was sound editing Sir Paul McCartney’s Tropic Island Hum film in the late 1990s,” Nigel Heath explains. “I really liked what the project was doing and found Katie’s story both moving and inspiring. The mix for the promo is pretty cool as we were able to really exploit the 5.1 aspect to add a new and exciting sonic element to what was already a beautiful track.”
The Meet Me in Winter project was inspired by Katie Elliott’s experiences with bipolar disorder. Last year she was admitted to hospital after walking out into the snow without a coat on, unsure of where she was going or what she was going to do.
After this experience she decided to speak out about the issues she had faced. She also wanted to highlight how the support she received from her local community in Wotton-Under-Edge had helped with her recovery.
“This community has helped and supported me through difficult times and I want to give something back,” she says. “The more I’ve talked to people about my experiences, the more I’ve realised that many others feel the same way. We all have stories to tell about what community means to us and we all have something to share.”
Since the idea was conceived more than 1,000 people have been involved in writing, singing, producing and promoting the charity song, including hundreds of residents from Wotton-Under-Edge who took part in the filming for the Meet Me In Winter video, which was directed by Alberto Bona. Katie also enlisted the help of a local choir to make the song, which was recorded in Bristol in September. Several prominent musicians, including bassist Jim Barr of Portishead, took part in the sessions.
Meet Me in Winter, which premiered at the local cinema in Wotton Under Edge on October 30th, will be shown in cinemas around the UK from November 21st. In the run up to Christmas, Katie and the MMiW choir will be performing live wherever they can, teaching the song to others and raising awareness of the project. Anyone can get involved by visiting the Sing with us page on the MMiW website – http://www.meetmeinwinter.org
Nigel Heath adds: “It was great to mix the track for Ian and Katie and to feel that our London-based company was doing a little to help a community project that may be quite a way from us geographically but is close to us all in terms of its message. Hopefully this promo will be seen by many people and they will all go out and buy the single.”