Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Record label Decca launches singing nuns contest

Roman Catholic nuns at the Vatican. File photo
Nuns' singing is 'ancient, unchanging and timeless'

A record label is launching a talent hunt aimed at religious orders around the globe in a bid to recruit a troupe of chart-topping nuns.

London-based Decca wants to record an album of plainsong and chant in time for the Pope's UK visit in September.

The idea for the album was inspired by an old recording of singing nuns rediscovered during an office move.

Nuns and religious orders are being asked to contact Decca with examples of their singing within a month.

Decca general manager Mark Wilkinson said: "This is a genuine appeal to find what you could call a 'sister act' for the 21st Century."

Platinum album

Decca executive Tom Lewis, who found the recording as he looked through piles of old records, said: "When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it's like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, pace and noise of modern living.

"You're given a glimpse of another world - a world of peace and calm. This is a sound of something ancient, unchanging and timeless."

Decca is hoping to replicate the success it found with The Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, who won a similar contest organised by Mr Lewis in 2008.

The Austrian monks contacted the record label with a YouTube clip of them singing.

Their subsequent album of plainchant singing went platinum.



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