Born in Labrador, Lucy Launder is the head of mastering at Abbey Road Studios.
A woman from Labrador has been working at the most famous recording studio in the world for more than 20 years.
Lucy Launder, 52, works at Abbey Road Studios in London, England – best known as the recording home of the Beatles. Launder has worked with artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran and even a Beatle – Sir Paul McCartney himself.
Launder was born in Happy Valley Goose-Bay, lived in Nain and moved to Makkovik when she was three.
Her parents are originally from London. Both were involved in the Moravian Church and attended a meeting where the ministry in Labrador was being discussed.
“Apparently, this inspired my parents, who left to serve in Labrador in 1965,” Launder said. “They both fell in love with the Big Land.”
Launder, like her parents, fell in love with the freedom to explore and the sense of community she says Labrador has to offer.
“I remember being sent out into minus temperatures, all wrapped up to play, the absolute freedom to wander,” Launder said. “With no televisions, internet and barely running water at the time, it felt like an idyllic childhood.”
However, in 1976 at the age of 10, Launder and her family moved back to London.
Ola Andersen, Launder’s childhood friend from Labrador, has missed her ever since.
“It was really sad,” Andersen recalled. “Lucy’s going-away party was at our house. So, we prepared like a birthday celebration but it was a going-away party and I remember it vividly because we had food that we usually wouldn’t have – like a trifle cake.”
There was no internet, at the time and phoning London was expensive, so Andersen and her family would look forward to Christmas when they would receive a letter from Launder and her family.
“They would send out a big letter that explained everything that happened over the year and that was our big piece of mail we looked forward to getting,” Andersen said.
Away from Labrador
When Launder moved from Makkovik to London in 1976, she experienced a lot of culture shock and it took a while for her to adjust.
Launder worked in the music industry with record labels for about 10 years until she began work in Abbey Road Studios in 1997.
“I felt much more akin to it, as the creative part of the process is where everything starts to happen, and you meet the actual artists that make it happen,” Launder said.
“Paul is a regular and we have worked with him constantly during my time at Abbey Road, either through Beatles projects or remastering of his solo work.”
Launder is the head of mastering in Abbey Road. She manages 20 engineers in mastering, remastering and archiving audio.
Her day is never the same as another. She could be dealing with a human relations issue, sales, booking, budgeting and so much more.
Launder has worked with many artists over her 20-year career: McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, to name a few.
“Paul is a regular and we have worked with him constantly during my time at Abbey Road, either through Beatles projects or remastering of his solo work.” Launder said, “Seeing Stevie Wonder on stage playing to a small audience in Studio 1 and meeting Smokey Robinson was both a highlight.”
Lucy’s father, Victor Launder, was a reverend in Makkovik during the time Lucy and her family lived there. He died of cancer in 2017.
In response, the Makkovik congregation built a memorial bench in dedication to Rev. Victor Launder and in the summer of 2018, Lucy was there to see it.
“It was very humbling, emotional,” Launder said. “I felt so proud of what my father had achieved. He loved his time in Labrador and always talked about it.”
Launder says she hopes to back in Labrador soon.
“I feel like Labrador is my spiritual home and there is something that will always call me back.”