Fun Poll: Predict Steven Wilson's 2021 5.1/Atmos Mixes

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sjcorne

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he's never heard a Quad mix of anything ever!? 😱😳🤯
Yup, that's what he said. He was asked about the jethro tull quads and said he hadn't heard them and then said he hadn't heard any vintage quads at all.
Interestingly enough, he did mention having heard the quad mix of Aqualung right here on QQ back in 2012:
winopener: 1) Hello Steven, as everyone knows, nothing is without a past. Before 5.1 there was 4.0, aka quad, and the past is open for today's learners. Other than "personal tastes", which "old quad" mixes did you found intresting as a learning experience on how to mix, placements, moving elements, balancing etc? Something that, when you were listening it, you were thinking "wow, that's great, this really does add a depth in the musical artistic experience, how they did it...". I'm sure at least 99% of the people here will list PF DSOTM on a personal top5 - Alan Parsons has been a real genius on that. Your top5 "old school quad" mixes?

SW: There is where you find out how ignorant I am when it comes to other surround work out there! I have mostly approached doing my surround mixes in a very intuitive and uneducated way. In fact I can only think of one quad mix I've ever heard, and that was the original quad mix of Aqualung which I listened to after I did the 5.1 out of curiousity, and which I found to be a very strange mix, almost like the person who did it hadn't listened to the stereo album mix!
 

fredblue

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i find it surprising (and disappointing) that someone of SW's ilk wouldn't have any interest in Quad mixes seeing as he is always so careful to stay rather slavishly close to the original Stereo for albums he remixes and that many Quads are not some whacked out alternative reality as he surmised about Aqualung but superb mixes in their own right that often improve upon the Stereo.. and of course there are the numerous instances where the Quad downmix is the Stereo. not so shabby after all.

putting his lack of experience with Quad to one side, the general indifference, ignorance, arrogance, revulsion even, all the negatives i've seen hurled at Quad over the years, its disgraceful really.

i never expected any of the 5.1 guys to be reverential about what's often maligned as old hat technology that flopped dismally in the 70's, a reputation that's regrettably been tough for Quad to shrug off.. but shrug it off it has, thanks to what Audio Fidelity started and especially all that Dutton Vocalion have done the last 5 or so years, to raise Quad's profile and give it the long overdue respect it deserves.

tbh the more Quads i've heard over the years time and again the better Quad mixes (some of CBS' guys in particular really knew what they were doing) totally kick the heck out of many 5.1's, so it might actually benefit some folks doing 5.1 & Atmos music mixes now to check out some of those fantastic Quad mixes instead of falling for the myth that they're dusty old heap of shit relics best forgotten.
 

J. PUPSTER

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i find it surprising (and disappointing) that someone of SW's ilk wouldn't have any interest in Quad mixes seeing as he is always so careful to stay rather slavishly close to the original Stereo for albums he remixes and that many Quads are not some whacked out alternative reality as he surmised about Aqualung but superb mixes in their own right that often improve upon the Stereo.. and of course there are the numerous instances where the Quad downmix is the Stereo. not so shabby after all.

putting his lack of experience with Quad to one side, the general indifference, ignorance, arrogance, revulsion even, all the negatives i've seen hurled at Quad over the years, its disgraceful really.

i never expected any of the 5.1 guys to be reverential about what's often maligned as old hat technology that flopped dismally in the 70's, a reputation that's regrettably been tough for Quad to shrug off.. but shrug it off it has, thanks to what Audio Fidelity started and especially all that Dutton Vocalion have done the last 5 or so years, to raise Quad's profile and give it the long overdue respect it deserves.

tbh the more Quads i've heard over the years time and again the better Quad mixes (some of CBS' guys in particular really knew what they were doing) totally kick the heck out of many 5.1's, so it might actually benefit some folks doing 5.1 & Atmos music mixes now to check out some of those fantastic Quad mixes instead of falling for the myth that they're dusty old heap of shit relics best forgotten.
I just sure hope there’s another Classic rock group coming from SW, as blood spitting and tongue wagging Kiss is just trash rock to me.

But to the wonderful point you made above at Quad and it’s misbegotten legacy; SW would do well to study the current Quad pater familias- Michael J Dutton, and throw more heavenly light on some old and needy titles like the Dave Mason’s and many others needing rescue.
 

himey

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i find it surprising (and disappointing) that someone of SW's ilk wouldn't have any interest in Quad mixes seeing as he is always so careful to stay rather slavishly close to the original Stereo for albums he remixes and that many Quads are not some whacked out alternative reality as he surmised about Aqualung but superb mixes in their own right that often improve upon the Stereo.. and of course there are the numerous instances where the Quad downmix is the Stereo. not so shabby after all.

putting his lack of experience with Quad to one side, the general indifference, ignorance, arrogance, revulsion even, all the negatives i've seen hurled at Quad over the years, its disgraceful really.

i never expected any of the 5.1 guys to be reverential about what's often maligned as old hat technology that flopped dismally in the 70's, a reputation that's regrettably been tough for Quad to shrug off.. but shrug it off it has, thanks to what Audio Fidelity started and especially all that Dutton Vocalion have done the last 5 or so years, to raise Quad's profile and give it the long overdue respect it deserves.

tbh the more Quads i've heard over the years time and again the better Quad mixes (some of CBS' guys in particular really knew what they were doing) totally kick the heck out of many 5.1's, so it might actually benefit some folks doing 5.1 & Atmos music mixes now to check out some of those fantastic Quad mixes instead of falling for the myth that they're dusty old heap of shit relics best forgotten.
Perspective.
He is moving forward. His music has changed, rather than becoming static.
His mixing has changed, from 5.1 (2D) to Atmos (3D). Forward thinking.
The context of his non-quad statement I took as meaning he didn't want his mind clouded by someone else's multichannel interpretation.
Generally speaking, other than when he talks about his influences, and albums he thinks are influential, he always seems to be thinking forward.
Much different than a forum of mostly old quad guys (and one gal) exploring old mixes. His formula works, and to think he is going to change his routine, and learn from past quadraphonic mixers is silly. To call it disgraceful is crazy talk. Your romance with quad is clouding your judgment.

What quad mix stays close to the origional stereo mix and when has anyone ever cared either way?
Comparing the worse 5.1 mixes to the best quadraphonic mixes just to make a point in an argument doesn't hold water, sorry.
 

fredblue

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i didn't say SW's nonchalance about Quad was disgraceful, rather the general negative attitude towards Quad over the years from people in the industry.

my viewpoint is not imbued by some wild irrational romanticism but my listening experiences.

i've no emotional attachment to Quad mixes i just prefer them to many 5.1 music mixes.

my hope is that people working in Immersive Audio today at least acknowledge the old Quads and yes maybe even learn something from them. that may mean how not to do things as well as how to maybe improve things.
 

fredblue

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I find it interesting that some old quads have been repurposed as Reality Audio 360 (hop I got that right) mixes. “State of the art immersive music”, ha ha!
its wonderful Sony have acknowledged they have some of the finest examples of Surround music ever created residing in their vaults! so many Quad gems in their archive, its an embarrassment of riches that were absolutely state of the art then and still very much cut it today! 🤩

yes there's some total crap Quads that come under Sony's umbrella too of course but many total delights, anyone who's into Surround and hasn't heard the likes is missing out imho.

have you tried the Dolby Audio/360RA offering of "Azteca", Sean? i'm playing it now on the AppleTV (*) absolutely superb Surround Music in every way 🥰

E555E8A3-9342-4DF1-B07A-C479792B7E1B.jpeg


(* disclaimer: had to fiddlefart about with the settings since everythings started coming out of the Front Left channel thanks to Apple's latest daft update but we got there in the end! hoo-ha! 😅😂
 

himey

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i didn't say SW's nonchalance about Quad was disgraceful, rather the general negative attitude towards Quad over the years from people in the industry.

my viewpoint is not imbued by some wild irrational romanticism but my listening experiences.

i've no emotional attachment to Quad mixes i just prefer them to many 5.1 music mixes.

my hope is that people working in Immersive Audio today at least acknowledge the old Quads and yes maybe even learn something from them. that may mean how not to do things as well as how to maybe improve things.
It isn't a crime to dig the past and hold on to it.
A good mix is a good mix regardless of the number of channels.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Perspective.
He is moving forward. His music has changed, rather than becoming static.
His mixing has changed, from 5.1 (2D) to Atmos (3D). Forward thinking.
The context of his non-quad statement I took as meaning he didn't want his mind clouded by someone else's multichannel interpretation.
Generally speaking, other than when he talks about his influences, and albums he thinks are influential, he always seems to be thinking forward.
Much different than a forum of mostly old quad guys (and one gal) exploring old mixes. His formula works, and to think he is going to change his routine, and learn from past quadraphonic mixers is silly. To call it disgraceful is crazy talk. Your romance with quad is clouding your judgment.

What quad mix stays close to the origional stereo mix and when has anyone ever cared either way?
Comparing the worse 5.1 mixes to the best quadraphonic mixes just to make a point in an argument doesn't hold water, sorry.
BONKERS to be forward thinking ohhhh noooo... hey, I actually like what you had to say there; now I just need to chop it up with myself and reconcile that with what I also liked (everything) that Freddie said. I enjoy Steve Wilson's work in mixing and he can like and satisfy the Kiss fans all he wants without a nod from me. I guess the take away is that if he'll do a Kiss album, just about anything is possible, a win for all of us.

I just worry that some of the stuff I'm hearing from Atmos mixes (4.x- 5.1 core) isn't cutting it for me and fear it's going down a similar road as the 70's Quad revolution of competing formats (360 Reality Audio ) and inconsistent mixes.

Ultimately I'd just like everything to be in surround and am fine with Quad or 5.1 or Atmos; but that's not what this S. Dave thread is about, so I'll just pick a band :unsure:

Uriah Heep
 

himey

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BONKERS to be forward thinking ohhhh noooo... hey, I actually like what you had to say there; now I just need to chop it up with myself and reconcile that with what I also liked (everything) that Freddie said. I enjoy Steve Wilson's work in mixing and he can like and satisfy the Kiss fans all he wants without a nod from me. I guess the take away is that if he'll do a Kiss album, just about anything is possible, a win for all of us.

I just worry that some of the stuff I'm hearing from Atmos mixes (4.x- 5.1 core) isn't cutting it for me and fear it's going down a similar road as the 70's Quad revolution of competing formats (360 Reality Audio ) and inconsistent mixes.

Ultimately I'd just like everything to be in surround and am fine with Quad or 5.1 or Atmos; but that's not what this S. Dave thread is about, so I'll just pick a band :unsure:

Uriah Heep
My guess was Ozzy - Blizzard of Oz because SW had just done the Sabbath, although it is only stereo. Don't know if the multitracks exist which seems to be a Sabbath sticking point.

Kiss was my first concert that my mom didn't take me to which was Elvis. It was an amazing show for a 13 year old kid. I don't listen to them much now but I can't wait to hear Destroyer because I know the mix will be great.

There will always be good and bad mixes and that is why we are all here searching for the gems, even if it isn't our favorite albums.

SW also said that once he is done mixing a project, he never wants to hear the fucking songs again. Hopefully he doesn't take too much crap for that too, like he has with his quad comment. I'm just glad he is honest rather than pandering to the masses.
 

skherbeck

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its wonderful Sony have acknowledged they have some of the finest examples of Surround music ever created residing in their vaults! so many Quad gems in their archive, its an embarrassment of riches that were absolutely state of the art then and still very much cut it today! 🤩

yes there's some total crap Quads that come under Sony's umbrella too of course but many total delights, anyone who's into Surround and hasn't heard the likes is missing out imho.

have you tried the Dolby Audio/360RA offering of "Azteca", Sean? i'm playing it now on the AppleTV (*) absolutely superb Surround Music in every way 🥰

View attachment 71935

(* disclaimer: had to fiddlefart about with the settings since everythings started coming out of the Front Left channel thanks to Apple's latest daft update but we got there in the end! hoo-ha! 😅😂
I havn’t heard that one yet, but hopefully one day!
 

fredblue

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It isn't a crime to dig the past and hold on to it.
A good mix is a good mix regardless of the number of channels.
"the past" isn't something we just forget and move on, History shapes our future, we learn from what has gone before. i have no rosey-eyed nostalgia for Quad, it was all over and done with before i was even born, however i do feel part of Quad's legacy should be as something that could be beneficial to those mixing multichannel music today.

my first experiences with Surround were in 5.1 and i enjoyed them then as i do now but having discovered Quad after its demise i came to enjoy it way more than its rather checkered reputation had suggested.

fast forward a few years and i now find the majority of Quad mixes more engaging Surround music experiences than the majority of 5.1 and Atmos music mixes i listen to. the number
of channels used has nothing to do with my preference, its the generally more experimental and ambitious style of mixing and use of the Surround soundfield of the Quad era that i tend to prefer 🙂
 

fredblue

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BONKERS to be forward thinking ohhhh noooo... hey, I actually like what you had to say there; now I just need to chop it up with myself and reconcile that with what I also liked (everything) that Freddie said. I enjoy Steve Wilson's work in mixing and he can like and satisfy the Kiss fans all he wants without a nod from me. I guess the take away is that if he'll do a Kiss album, just about anything is possible, a win for all of us.

I just worry that some of the stuff I'm hearing from Atmos mixes (4.x- 5.1 core) isn't cutting it for me and fear it's going down a similar road as the 70's Quad revolution of competing formats (360 Reality Audio ) and inconsistent mixes.

Ultimately I'd just like everything to be in surround and am fine with Quad or 5.1 or Atmos; but that's not what this S. Dave thread is about, so I'll just pick a band :unsure:

Uriah Heep
its relatively early days but there's a lot of absolutely fantastic Atmos music out there already (Booka Shade, Kraftwerk, wow, those mixes make intelligent and truly engaging use of the technology) but as with anything there's also some truly lousy stuff that could take a leaf out of Quad's good books!

that Bee Gees' "Nights On Broadway" was the latest Atmos track that stuck out for me as being particularly poorly mixed, there are elements all over the place with no rhyme or reason, end result it all just collapses in a heap.

blame it all, on the nightmare on Broadway!! 😂
 

fredblue

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My guess was Ozzy - Blizzard of Oz because SW had just done the Sabbath, although it is only stereo. Don't know if the multitracks exist which seems to be a Sabbath sticking point.

Kiss was my first concert that my mom didn't take me to which was Elvis. It was an amazing show for a 13 year old kid. I don't listen to them much now but I can't wait to hear Destroyer because I know the mix will be great.

There will always be good and bad mixes and that is why we are all here searching for the gems, even if it isn't our favorite albums.

SW also said that once he is done mixing a project, he never wants to hear the fucking songs again. Hopefully he doesn't take too much crap for that too, like he has with his quad comment. I'm just glad he is honest rather than pandering to the masses.
i'm really looking forward to hearing SW's new Kiss mixes. i feel confident he'll do a solid job and it is something kinda different for him. not long now til they hit the street! 🤞
 

steelydave

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i find it surprising (and disappointing) that someone of SW's ilk wouldn't have any interest in Quad mixes seeing as he is always so careful to stay rather slavishly close to the original Stereo for albums he remixes and that many Quads are not some whacked out alternative reality as he surmised about Aqualung but superb mixes in their own right that often improve upon the Stereo.. and of course there are the numerous instances where the Quad downmix is the Stereo. not so shabby after all.

putting his lack of experience with Quad to one side, the general indifference, ignorance, arrogance, revulsion even, all the negatives i've seen hurled at Quad over the years, its disgraceful really.

i never expected any of the 5.1 guys to be reverential about what's often maligned as old hat technology that flopped dismally in the 70's, a reputation that's regrettably been tough for Quad to shrug off.. but shrug it off it has, thanks to what Audio Fidelity started and especially all that Dutton Vocalion have done the last 5 or so years, to raise Quad's profile and give it the long overdue respect it deserves.

tbh the more Quads i've heard over the years time and again the better Quad mixes (some of CBS' guys in particular really knew what they were doing) totally kick the heck out of many 5.1's, so it might actually benefit some folks doing 5.1 & Atmos music mixes now to check out some of those fantastic Quad mixes instead of falling for the myth that they're dusty old heap of shit relics best forgotten.
This post, and Adam's subsequent ones are "post of the year" candidates (if there were such an award) for me - I couldn't have said it any better.

If it is indeed true that Mr. Wilson hasn't listened to any quad mixes, we're all artistically poorer for it. One of his greatest attributes as a musician and producer (and maybe as a person, though I don't know for a fact) is that he's like a sponge when it comes to absorbing new influences both from what he listens to and the people he works with. It was no accident (to my ears anyway) that Hand.Cannot.Erase. bore a lot of the hallmarks of the stuff he was remixing at the time like Yes and Jethro Tull, only to take a right turn into highly polished cerebral pop around the time he started working on XTC - giving him the multitracks to music like that is like giving an architect the blueprints to a bunch of world-famous landmarks. I was really hoping he'd carry on remixing Chicago if only for some of their songwriting and arranging methodology to trickle into his own solo work.

It's my feeling that the artistic process is something that never happens in a vaccuum, and what you create is a synthesis of everything you've experienced up to that point. Listening to quad mixes could never have a negative impact on how you approach your own work because even at the very worst, they could at least give you a sense of things you don't want to do. I often think of that old quote attributed to Sir Isaac Newton where he said something along the lines of "..if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants," basically giving credit to all that had come before him for what he was able to do, and I wish that the lineage between old quad mixes and modern surround were more connected because we'd be "seeing a lot further" now. Early quad mixes could absolutely be a hit-or-miss affair both in terms of quality and faithfulness to the original stereo mix, but by the time the format had reached maturity in 1974/1975 that isn't the case, and for me not only do a lot of these mixes best any modern surround remix, they're also better than the original stereo mixes.

The crop of 5.1 engineers that came of age in the late '90s and early '00s (I don't count SW among these, this is just a general comment) seemed so willfully ignorant of the great quad work that was done by almost every major label (and lots of smaller ones) in the '70s that they were doomed to having to figure out how to reinvent the wheel on the job. As a result, I'd say the vast majority of early 5.1 mixes are either bad, or boring from a surround perspective, especially if you take out the small handful of guys like Scheiner, Wilson and Prent who seem to "get it" when it comes to surround mixing.

I'm not suggesting that SW needs to listen to every quad mix ever done, or that listening to a few would result in his future mixes having swirly-around-the room pans and drums in one rear speaker, but I absolutely believe that he'd find musical and technical inspiration to apply to his own work in some of them. And (as a fellow music fan), I also believe that he'd have the same experience I did: that well-executed quad mixes are works of art within themselves, and that (at their best) they can somehow circumvent the cynicism and jaded feeling that comes from hearing the stereo version of an old song too many times, and give you back a large measure of that "just heard it for the first time" thrill.
 

fredblue

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small off topic indulgence for a second (sorry) but it is kinda related to this conversation, in the idea that there's artistic merit in looking to the past to create something new.. anyway its just kinda personal and quite lovely for me as her proud son so if you'll forgive me i'll briefly share it with you here ☺

next week i'm booked to visit the Museum Of Fashion in the city of Bath where they have some of my Mum's designs on permanent exhibition and in the little synopsis on their website about her career etc they summed up her work;

"As such the designer was part of the key 1970s fashion trend of looking back to the past to gain inspiration for a modern look."

..and that's a neat summary of how she did things! i adore my SuperMum and can't wait to see her work on display there! yeay! 🥰
 

himey

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This post, and Adam's subsequent ones are "post of the year" candidates (if there were such an award) for me - I couldn't have said it any better.

If it is indeed true that Mr. Wilson hasn't listened to any quad mixes, we're all artistically poorer for it. One of his greatest attributes as a musician and producer (and maybe as a person, though I don't know for a fact) is that he's like a sponge when it comes to absorbing new influences both from what he listens to and the people he works with. It was no accident (to my ears anyway) that Hand.Cannot.Erase. bore a lot of the hallmarks of the stuff he was remixing at the time like Yes and Jethro Tull, only to take a right turn into highly polished cerebral pop around the time he started working on XTC - giving him the multitracks to music like that is like giving an architect the blueprints to a bunch of world-famous landmarks. I was really hoping he'd carry on remixing Chicago if only for some of their songwriting and arranging methodology to trickle into his own solo work.

It's my feeling that the artistic process is something that never happens in a vaccuum, and what you create is a synthesis of everything you've experienced up to that point. Listening to quad mixes could never have a negative impact on how you approach your own work because even at the very worst, they could at least give you a sense of things you don't want to do. I often think of that old quote attributed to Sir Isaac Newton where he said something along the lines of "..if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants," basically giving credit to all that had come before him for what he was able to do, and I wish that the lineage between old quad mixes and modern surround were more connected because we'd be "seeing a lot further" now. Early quad mixes could absolutely be a hit-or-miss affair both in terms of quality and faithfulness to the original stereo mix, but by the time the format had reached maturity in 1974/1975 that isn't the case, and for me not only do a lot of these mixes best any modern surround remix, they're also better than the original stereo mixes.

The crop of 5.1 engineers that came of age in the late '90s and early '00s (I don't count SW among these, this is just a general comment) seemed so willfully ignorant of the great quad work that was done by almost every major label (and lots of smaller ones) in the '70s that they were doomed to having to figure out how to reinvent the wheel on the job. As a result, I'd say the vast majority of early 5.1 mixes are either bad, or boring from a surround perspective, especially if you take out the small handful of guys like Scheiner, Wilson and Prent who seem to "get it" when it comes to surround mixing.

I'm not suggesting that SW needs to listen to every quad mix ever done, or that listening to a few would result in his future mixes having swirly-around-the room pans and drums in one rear speaker, but I absolutely believe that he'd find musical and technical inspiration to apply to his own work in some of them. And (as a fellow music fan), I also believe that he'd have the same experience I did: that well-executed quad mixes are works of art within themselves, and that (at their best) they can somehow circumvent the cynicism and jaded feeling that comes from hearing the stereo version of an old song too many times, and give you back a large measure of that "just heard it for the first time" thrill.
Listening to his interviews and podcasts, I get the feeling he doesn't have the time and he isn't going to make the time. He could probably pick up a handful of DV quad SACD's, but then he would have to take the time to setup a system and such. He just isn't into it whether the folks here want to believe that or not. I am not convinced he would change his routine of creating the stereo mix first and staying true to that, if he spent a lot of time finding the truly great quad mixes and listening to them. Creating quad mixes aren't even close to that staying close to the origional and just spreading out the instruments routine that he employs. I would have been excited if he had answered the quad question differently, but he didn't. I have the impression he thinks it is moving backwards, right or wrong. It is what it is and he is moving forward as HE sees it, and not looking back, again, right or wrong.
 

DuncanS

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small off topic indulgence for a second (sorry) but it is kinda related to this conversation, in the idea that there's artistic merit in looking to the past to create something new.. anyway its just kinda personal and quite lovely for me as her proud son so if you'll forgive me i'll briefly share it with you here ☺

next week i'm booked to visit the Museum Of Fashion in the city of Bath where they have some of my Mum's designs on permanent exhibition and in the little synopsis on their website about her career etc they summed up her work;

"As such the designer was part of the key 1970s fashion trend of looking back to the past to gain inspiration for a modern look."

..and that's a neat summary of how she did things! i adore my SuperMum and can't wait to see her work on display there! yeay! 🥰
Bizarrely I worked in Bath for 15 years and we had one of our company Xmas parties in the Assembly Rooms, which is where the museum is I think!
 
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