Le Grand Départ & The Ride of Your Life

The_Open_RoadThe title track of Le Grand Depart show, launching The 2014 Tour de France at Leeds Arena. Track by Philip Sheppard. Free download here.
Image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff. More of Trey’s amazing work here.More news & tracks here…

Press release:

British conductor and composer Philip Sheppard will lead the orchestra and chorus ofOpera North at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Tour de France.

The ceremony will take place at the Leeds Arena this Thursday, and will precede the Yorkshire Grand Départ.

Sheppard, who has previously arranged and composed music for both the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, will perform new work inspired by the sounds of cycling.

The orchestra will also accompany Yorkshire band Embrace, who is headlining the event.

Sheppard has scored 25 feature films, and as a cellist, has worked with the likes of David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker and Jeff Buckley. He is widely-known for using electronics in conjunction with classical music.

The ceremony takes place on 3 July.

Meltdown Philip Sheppard live at the Royal Festival Hall pt2

So.. here’s the next extract from the set I played as support for UNKLE at the Royal Festival Hall – opening for James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival. This is my live cello-looped version of my orchestral piece ‘Final Day’.

gearHere’s the bizarre gear that goes into my gig bag along with the cello.

Meltdown UNKLE Live at the Royal Festival Hall

I played as support last night for UNKLE at the Royal Festival Hall opening for James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival. Here’s my live cello-looped version of ‘Glow’ by UNKLE, a track I first worked on way back when we were recording Never, Never Land…

Here’s another track from the set.

setlist

I’ve been a long-term collaborator with James Lavelle since being invited in to the Never Never Land sessions with UNKLE to play acoustic and electric cello. Since then, I’ve performed on numerous tracks as a string player, and have been a co-writer on many album tracks.

My first impression of James and his working method has remained intact, save for the fact that over time he’s become a dear & trusted friend.

James is an alchemist.
He instinctively knows how to throw disparate personalities & elements together, resulting in beautiful dissonance and restless confluence.
At the time of the first sessions I was working as a classical cello professor at the Royal Academy of Music and James blew the doors off my recording life, giving voice to my wilder sonic personalities, encouraging me to stretch the potential of my musicianship.

I remember one day working on Beethoven sonatas at the Royal Academy, then getting in a cab up the road to a North London studio with James, Keith Flint, dry ice, strobes and a license to let rip in an all-night recording session. That’s living the dream…

Amazing Grace live at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival

This is a live version of ‘Amazing Grace’ from my recent gig at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. It’s recorded using an 18th Century cello and a loop pedal. Hope you like it.

These are my favourite verses from the hymn.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

NN Fest – Final Day Live looping

This is my closing piece from my set at the NNFest on 22nd may 2014 playing support for Toumani Diabaté. It’s recorded using an 18th Century cello and a Boss RC300 loop pedal with a DPA cello mic. Hope you like it…

Voyager’s message in a bottle

The Voyager Golden Discs are gramophone records which were attached to both Voyager spacecrafts, which were launched in 1977.

The discs contain a huge array of music and noises from Earth, as well as biometric information and scientific knowledge.

Inscribed on the discs are the words; ‘To the makers of music – all worlds, all times…’
Everything in my track is built from manipulated sounds from the gold discs attached to the Voyager space probes.
Hope you like it.

Solo set at James Lavelle’s Meltdown with UNKLE

meltdown-2014-james-lavelle-lineup

Very very excited to announce that I’ve been invited to perform a solo set to kick off James Lavelle’s Meltdown 2014.

It’ll be a solo cello looping set in the Royal Festival Hall before I join the UNKLE line-up (my long-time conspirators) in the second half.

Nice article re the other artists here.

Hope you can come. It’s going to be different. In the meantime let me share a previous Meltdown experience with Jeff Buckley that changed my life entirely…