Mandy Parnell

Ingénieur·e du son

Ingénieure du son anglaise. Mandy Parnell a son propre studio d’enregistrement situé à Londres : le Black Saloon Studios. Son travail a été récompensé à de nombreuses reprises : Grammy awards, Tech Awards, MPG, etc.
Elle a collaboré avec des centaines de groupes et de musiciens, notamment The Chemical Brothers, Max Richter, Brian Eno, etc.

Travail avec Björk


Aperçu du studio


Mandy Parnell, who has been nominated for numerous Grammy and Tech awards for her engineering and mastering work, was drafted onto the project in September when Björk decided she wasn’t happy with the mastering she’d had done in New York. Just one month before the album’s release, the date was pulled back due to conceptual issues on the album. According to Björk, the album needed to have more ‘live feeling’ and a more determinated ‘body’ than the versions on the apps.

Mandy Parnell’s involvement in the project escalated rapidly. “It started off with me receiving a call from One Little Indian [Björk’s label] saying ‘She’s not happy with her vinyl, can you re‑cut it ?’ Then ‘She’s not happy with the album, can you re‑master the album ?’ Then ‘Actually… we’ve heard that you sometimes get involved with taking a mobile rig to another studio and mastering there, could you do this for us ? Can you fly out to Iceland ?’”
This Mandy promptly did, to be greeted with yet another surprise. Curver Thoroddsen, one of Björk’s assistant engineers, opened up the files, and they were all mix sessions. There were no stereo bounces of the tracks. “I didn’t know that I was going to be presented with stems. I thought I was going to be working on the stereo masters !”
Mandy was not aware of the changes Björk had made to the mixes at this point, and in case this wasn’t stressful enough, she was working against a looming and immovable deadline, with an unfamiliar setup, in a studio she’d never seen or heard before. “I went into Addi 800’s studio Ö&Ö. He’s worked with artists like Björk and Sigur Ros numerous times before, and he’s one of the top mixing guys in Iceland. We went into his studio to get set up, before I would meet Björk and go through the album with her.

Working on Vulnicura was particularly intense, she says. “I was going through a breakup with my husband, the father of my son, and able to relate to Björk.”
The album was not without its technical challenges either – amplified when Björk began to combine her music with virtual reality. The Icelandic singer’s Björk Digital exhibition last year comprised a number of VR music videos that the audience could step inside, such as Stonemilker’s sweeping 360 and 3D vistas of Björk on a beach. Parnell was drafted in to make sure the audio worked inside the headsets.
When it comes to an audio mix, especially Björk’s, there are untold layers of sounds, drums, vocals, keyboards and strings. To try and get that to feel natural wherever you move is very difficult. And it needs to feel natural otherwise you’ll get motion sickness.”
“She’s ridiculously involved. She pushes you out the way !” she laughs. She demonstrates Björk’s knack for hogging the keyboard over her desk. “Slowly she leans across to get the mouse and within half an hour she’s here and you’re there !”

The Guardian - Février 2017

I’ve worked in Iceland with Björk in the past. For Utopia, Björk, Marta, and Heba sent the files to my studio in London where I worked on them. We had lots of discussions via messenger between us all, as well as emails and phone calls discussing the directions we were going to take the mixes. At times during the mastering we were all in different parts of the world.

The Fader