Viola maestro, composer and arranger John Metcalfe may be someone you’ve heard music from without realising in more commercial music. He has arranged music for U2, Coldplay, Peter Gabriel and Blur among many others. John’s also made his own classical music too and with his new album ‘Tree’, due for release in September. It is an ode to 24 hours sitting under a tree and all the magical things nature brings with it. Metcalfe has composed eight majestic compositions and takes the listener on an emotionally stirring journey. John travelled back to New Zealand with his wife, having emigrated from there as a child and found visiting the Tāne Mahuta a near spiritual experience. The Tāne Mahuta is the largest kauri tree known to exist and it set John’s project into motion. Inspired by the grandiosity of the tree, his compositions became epic in scale too.
This led to ‘Tree’ being recorded in Abbey Road Studios to capture the scale and depth of a string chorus working in unison. The depth can be felt in the fantastic lead single ‘Xylem’, the vascular tissue plants have that transports water around stems to leaves. It starts off as a calm string arrangement before emerging as a sweeping wave of epic proportions, then quieting down to a chipper mechanical perkiness. It’s like a stem being energised and stretching towards the sun and dancing in the wind – but orchestrated. It’s a real grower.
Enjoy the music video for ‘Xylem’ below, the track is out now. You can pre-order John Metcalfe’s ‘Tree’ too ahead of its 22nd September release date. He will also be performing a concert in London on the 28th September at King’s Place.
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