Making Music on the Moors at Ayriel Studios

Ayriel Studios is a new residential recording studio and creative retreat set within the spectacular landscape of the North York Moors National Park. Against all odds, the studio was launched during the pandemic and is attracting world-class musicians inspired by its idyllic rural location.

The brainchild of internationally-renowned cellist, artistic director and cultural entrepreneur, Jamie Walton, it has taken six years from inception to completion. The studio is in a large, converted barn, with three adjacent self-catering farm cottages that sleep up to 12 people, surrounded by stone-walled fields on one side and heather moorland on the other. It is a musical haven, where artists enjoy an extremely personal and bespoke service that starts from before they arrive with help for travel arrangements. Artists may stay on site and have everything taken care of, including home-cooked meals, so they can relax and focus fully on their project.

The L-shaped, oak-floored studio is expertly designed, offering a unique sound – rich, clear, natural – with great acoustic versatility and an unusually broad reverberation range (from 0.8 to 2.6 seconds) suitable for all musical genres. The studio space is overlooked by a comfortable, well-equipped control room housing the latest SSL Origin 32 channel analogue mixing desk, ideal for an all-digital workflow and easy to use. Both spaces are flooded with natural light.

We aim to provide the optimum working conditions for our guests,” comments owner and technical director, Simon Hopkins. “The studio is temperature controlled and benefits from a continual air exchange, keeping the air as fresh inside as it is outside. We offer the studio on a 24-hour day rate, so artists can work whenever they want and for as long as they want. Noise is never an issue as the building is so well soundproofed.

A sense of timelessness and freedom is what helps this studio stand out from the norm” observes artistic director, Jamie Walton. “We’ve created a space for musicians to do their best work, to focus on their creativity and self-expression, and to completely immerse themselves without distraction.

It seems to be working – pianist, Peter Donohoe, surprised himself by recording 17 sonatas in one visit, Viktoria Mullova and Alasdair Beatson recorded a disc of Schubert and finished early, and I recently recorded The Bach Suites in three days.”

Other notable classical artists to have discovered Ayriel Studios include oboist, Nicholas Daniel OBE, who described it as “the most beautiful place imaginable to record.” To find out more about Ayriel Studios visit, or call the studio manager, Hannah Ahrens, on 01287 669900 for rates and availability, or email

Source: press release

(Image credit: Paul Ingram)