2010 was a busy year for Andrew Powell and 2011 isn't looking any different. April 2010 saw the world premiere of the Red Lady of Paviland at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen, Wales. Discovered in a cave on the Gower Peninsula, the 29,000 year old ochre-stained bones of the Red Lady of Paviland provide the inspiration for this unique and imaginative presentation of Welsh music, history, mythology and scientific fact. The cantata which Andrew wrote, with text by Menna Elfyn, Y Dyn Unig was the centerpiece of the performance. For more information on this 2010/2011 arts project sponsored by the Arts Council of Wales, visit conductor Craig Roberts site by clicking here.
Since the première of Y Dyn Unig at the beginning of April 2010, Andrew has been busy doing TV sessions, writing 12 arrangements for a new Belgian singer/songwriter called Eva Jacobs (2 days of recording sessions with the London Chamber Orchestra - led by Vasko Vassilev, an exciting new talent - at Abbey Road at the end of June), and finishing a new work for 2 guitars called Things as they Are. July also saw the release of the album Chromosphere by Morris Pert which included the work Dorian Terilament, written by Andrew for the group "Come to the Edge", and recorded by the band in 1971. For more information about this work and to purchase the album from Morris' site, click here.
July to October were spent writing two new works for large orchestra (90 musicians) - one 25 minutes long entitled Will Etienne and Isabeau never Meet? which was commissioned by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland (and first performed by them under their conductor Ludwig Wicki at the spectacular KKL Konzertsaal Lucerne at the beginning of November 2010) and another, shorter, work entitled Points Upon a Canvas, which has been taken by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for their “Welsh Composers’ Showcase” in February 2011. Andrew in Lucerne with conductor Ludwig Wicki (centre) and the American composer/songwriter Randy Edelman (right).
Andrew then wrote a further 10 arrangements for a Dutch rock group called Racoon - and spent another 2 days at Abbey Road Studios (the week before Christmas) recording the works, once again using the services of the London Chamber Orchestra, again with Vasko leading the orchestra.
He is also in the initial stages of writing a new piece for contra-bassoon and live electronics for Robin Thompson, who was formerly in the groups Intermodulation and Come to the Edge with Andrew.
So far in 2011, since the premiere in February of Points Upon a Canvas by the BBC Welsh Orchestra, Andrew has written a new work, as yet untitled, for a Cardiff-based trio called "Still Life with Guitar" - for flute, viola, and guitar, and he is continuing to work on the contra-bassoon work for Robin Thompson, and is writing with an old colleague from Cambridge, Adrian Munsey. He is also producing some tracks, which he has co-written with Al Stewart and Tim Rice, with the Welsh tenor Robyn Lyn, who sang in the première of Y Dyn Unig. The Racoon album Liverpool Rain has been a great success in Holland: the first single (No Mercy) has been in the Dutch Top 20 chart for 32 weeks, and the album went straight onto the charts at no. 2 and has remained in the Top 50 for 32 weeks since its release. Visit our Media Page for video clips regarding the making of the Liverpool Rain including the video for No Mercy. Andrew returned to Abbey Road Studios in September with the Philharmonia Orchestra once again to record 5 new works co-written with Adrian Munsey and a new arrangement of a work by Debussy.
Andrew will be returning to Abbey Road Studios in December with the Philharmonia Orchestra and his favourite soprano, the Welsh singer Elin Manahan Thomas, to record some more compositions - mostly co-written with Adrian Munsey, together with the Hwiangerdd from Y Dyn Unig, which he wrote with the Welsh poet Menna Elfyn.The record is due to be released next June. Additionally, there are plans for a concert, or series of concerts, in London next year with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Andrew, featuring several of these new works, together with some classics by Mozart, Debussy and Prokofiev. Andrew would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!