December 18, 2021 Firstly, Andrew wants to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and Covid-free 2022.

Since last year Andrew has been busy writing - the only creative option available for much of the year, as concerts were almost all being cancelled, and even recording sessions were difficult to arrange becaue of restrictions on the numbers allowed in studios. He has had a couple of commissions for pieces for brass band, one of them entitled “The Curious Affair between the Wolf and the Hawk”, and has also started working on a major new orchestral work. Alongside these he has been writing a series of piano duets, which should be finished very shortly, and will then be recorded - possibly with Andrew playing both parts! He and David Paton started the year continuing their writing and recording project, but although they have been continuing to liaise, their commitments unfortunately made it difficult for much of this year to finish work on all of the pieces they have been writing and recording together. They both intend to get back to their collaboration early next year, as they are excited by what they’ve achieved so far.

The first recording session for the Wallace Collection’s CD of “The Brass Music of Andrew Powell” finally took place in Glasgow at the end of October, after having been postponed four times because of Covid restrictions. John Wallace conducted the Wallace Collection Quintet and a relatively new, young brass quintet called “Solstice”, who are recent graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and who are starting to make a good impression on the world of music, in a recording of Andrew’s work “Ritual” for double brass quintet. Andrew and Kirsten are busy editing the work at present. There are further sessions booked in in St Andrews in Scotland early next February to record two further works - “Variations towards a Theme”, for two trumpets and live electronics, and “To a Walrus”, for two trumpets and featuring a part for a pianist who also plays several percussioin instruments, which Andrew will play himself. The works will be performed in a concert at the music faculty in St Andrews the day before the recordings - the concert comprises brass music by Andrew Powell and Randy Brecker. There will be on further day of sessions later in February to record “Within Those Radiances…” for brass quintet and live electronics.

On the commercial front, Andrew has done the orchestral arrangements for another album by the Belgian singer/songwriter Flip Kowlier - the first one they worked on together was the very successful album “Cirque” back in 2013. Working with Flip is always enjoyable. The new album, which will be called “September” is due for release early next year on CD and vinyl. Andrew tried to book studios in London to record the orchestra, but was surprised to discover that the few orchestral studios which are left in London were all full for the whole of the only month which would work for the production, so he recorded his arrangements, with assistance from Kirsten, in their home studio using their extensive sample library, and mixed them there. This process is not Andrew’s favourite way of working - it takes probably 10 times longer than recording with a live orchestra! The album was produced by Wouter van Belle.