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London Public Library highlights free-to-use music studio The Labs

Lucan singer-songwriter Julia Haggarty sits inside The Labs located in the London Public Library's Central Branch on Dundas Street.
Lucan singer-songwriter Julia Haggarty sits inside The Labs located in the London Public Library's Central Branch on Dundas Street. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

The London Public Library is highlighting its free-to-use music studio at the downtown Central Branch.

The branch held a concert on Tuesday showcasing songs that were recorded in what’s been dubbed The Labs.

READ MORE: Successful Junos shines spotlight on London, Ont.

The concert opened with Don’t Tell Me It’s Christmas by Julia Haggarty and Charlie Weeber.

Haggarty, a country singer-songwriter from Lucan, had high praise for The Labs, calling the free studio a huge benefit for younger musicians.

“I really went in with no expectation and I was really surprised at what the library offers,” she said.

“I had no idea that there had been so much development where you could go in and access Pro Tools and use a completely legitimate, like, high, high, high-calibre system.”

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London musicians Addison Johnson, left, and Taylor Holden pose inside The Labs inside the London Public Library’s Central Branch on Dundas Street.
London musicians Addison Johnson, left, and Taylor Holden pose inside The Labs inside the London Public Library’s Central Branch on Dundas Street. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Londoners Taylor Holden and Addison Johnson performed their song Vic Park and Holden echoed Haggarty’s surprise.

“I’m going to be honest, man, I thought it was going to be like Garage Band, Rock Band mics, and I was like, ‘All right, we’ll make something work,’ but we came in and the equipment here is phenomenal, top-notch.”

London rapper Casper Marcus poses inside The Labs at the London Public Library’s Central Branch on Dundas Street.
London rapper Casper Marcus poses inside The Labs at the London Public Library’s Central Branch on Dundas Street. Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Casper Marcus performed Christmas On Its Way, with Haggarty filling in on vocals for the artist Saveria. He said a space like this will make a huge difference for London’s youth.

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“Me and my friends were just talking about this — if we had this when we were coming up, we would’ve had a lot more albums done, we would’ve been a lot more creative, and there would’ve been a lot less trouble, probably, caused. I’m really proud of creative spaces like this. See a few of them popping up in the city and I’m really proud of what they’re doing in London, Ontario,” he said.

“[Kids are] really in their phones, really in their technology. But hey, why don’t you come over here, put that technology skill into being creative, into something everyone can enjoy.”

READ MORE: London Public Library to offer instrument rentals thanks to ‘Juno Awards’

According to a release, the library opened The Labs one year ago at the Central library branch. Monday’s concert highlighting the capabilities of the studio comes nearly two months after the library announced it would begin offering instrument rentals.

Those looking to access The Labs can do so by heading over to the second floor of the branch.

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