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CAN YOU BE A NUNBER ONE? Record company search for new sister act.

Byline: EMILY MOLLOY

FIRST it was The Priests and now record company bosses are on the lookout for some equally talented nuns.

The singing sisters will be signed to the same label as hellraiser Amy Winehouse and fashion fiasco Lady GaGa.

Talent scouts at Universal want the next big clerical thing to have recorded some tracks in time for the Pope's UK visit in September.

But any convent hopefuls do not have to worry that they will be asked to depart from tradition too much.

Music chiefs are not after Guns and Rosaries, but calming chants and plainsong, which uses Catholic liturgies.

This week the Decca label embarks upon a global, multi-media search for the nuns with adverts across national and international publications as well as on TV encouraging them to send examples of their singing into Tom Lewis, who is head of Artists and Repertoire.

A spokesman told how when the label moved offices recently, Lewis was forced to sort through his records, some untouched for years and "chanced upon a disc of such profound beauty - singing nuns - that one hearing spurred him on to find their vocal sisters of the digital age".

The spokesman added: "The concept is to bring sacred music of calm and meditation to the outside world and to those who would not normally hear it.

"Music of such tranquil beauty and stillness has already proved to be very popular. The Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz recently saw huge success with their platinum-selling album of plainchant.

"They could never have imagined their everyday prayer would be experienced and savoured in so many homes - a radical change of musical habit for thousands."

Mr Lewis 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. A sound which is ancient, unchanging and timeless."

Decca general manager Mark Wilkinson said: "This is a genuine appeal to find a sister act for the 21st century."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 20, 2010
Words:356
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