David Clifton

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Biography: After a childhood filled with music as a choral scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, and studies David Clifton signed first to Red Bus/EMI music, then to PVK records with soul/folk singer Harvey Morgan in Indian Summer, joining blues legend Peter Green who was also signed to the label. A few years later, an invitation to join indie rock band Sensible Jerseys resulted in a move to London. The band were championed by broadcasting legend John Peel, and were played regularly on his show and on Radio 1. They subsequently signed with Virgin records. Following this indie sojourn, David went on to play for WEA/East West singer songwriter Tanita Tikaram, recording and touring Europe and the USA with her. This was followed by European tours, radio, TV and promotion work playing guitar for the Irish jazz/blues artist Mary Coughlan.

In the early 1990’s he worked with EMI artist Steve Booker, recording a BASF award winning CD with him and touring extensively throughout Europe, opening for acts such as Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega, Clannad, Steve Earle and the Dukes amongst others.

Whilst preparing for this project, David was introduced to one of  Steve’s producers, Andy Piercy, former lead singer of After The Fire. This led to a writing partnership developing contemporary sacred music and working with the music team at their local church, Holy Trinity Brompton. When not busy with music and production work, they began meeting regularly at Andy’s house in Notting Hill Gate to write, and then David’s home in Covent Garden to record and produce the new songs. This resulted in two ground-breaking albums of their time;  ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ and ‘Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs’, incorporating traditional Liturgy and Sacred texts  into a modern musical context.

During the early 90’s and through 2000 he recorded and toured with Virgin Records artist Julia Fordham, playing Japan, the Far East, Europe and the USA, touring with Sarah McLachlan on the Lilleth Fair events, and playing USA dates on Sheryl Crow’s world tour.

The rustic surroundings of a 16th century barn studio in Surrey were the location for writing and recording with Grammy award-winning producer Kipper for Esther Alexander’s ‘Long Way Home’ album. Late 2011 saw the completion of his first Hollywood ‘B Movie’ film soundtrack. Songwriting trips to Nashville have given birth to new material co-written with Phil Keaggy and Phil Madeira. More recently he has been taking time out to write and record his own projects, and enjoying collaborative work with other international artists. You can hear the fruit of this work over the years in the Katie Targett Adams production ‘Hush’, the electronica albums ‘Pulse’ and ‘Flight’ with Mr. Don and the ‘Live Vol.1’ concert with George Middlebrooks. In downtime he’s been working on all he learned from Appalachian claw-hammer banjo genius Matt Morelock. July 2018 saw the release of a new Ambient Abstract guitar album.

Recording sessions over the years have included work for a variety artists, including Julia Fordham, Pele, Helen Watson, Madness, Micky Hart, Tanita Tikaram, Paul Heaton (Beautiful South), Martin Smith & Delirious (Cutting Edge 1), Matt Redman, Mary Coughlan, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick and Kim Hill amongst many others.

Several new recording projects are currently underway. Charlotte’s traditional folk song album (which David has been producing) is now mixed and ready for mastering. The main tracking sessions for his new folk project were recorded at Scott Minor’s studio in Knoxville Tennessee utilising a restored vintage tape MCI tape machine and original vintage outboard effects equipment, including a Neve desk, and CLASP recording technology. A concurrent project is of sacred music was recorded at 5th Avenue in Knoxville with Will Reagan engineering the live sessions. David and engineer Ben McAmis are currently completing the production work via their cross-Atlantic partnership! It will showcase modern Liturgical sacred music. In addition, a classical string quintet and piano project ‘Fruit Of The Spirit’ was released in September 2019, and a new indie folk album, Marble City Skyline, in August 2020 with promotional singles out in 2021 and 2022 . Albums are also on CD from the Little Room Store and Fruit Of The Spirit is also available on limited edition 180 gram vinyl.

Producers/DJ’s/Radio Play/Airplay Downloads can be accessed Here

IKOS

This unique Christmas album has become, as reviewer Tom Lennie predicted,  a consistent favourite in many households around the world during the festive season.  The choirs of Peterborough Cathedral, full band, the London Telefilmonic Orchestra, solo singers and instrumentalists and some of England’s finest musicians have contributed to this beautiful interpretation of favourite carols. Canadian singer Jane Siberry also brings her unique style to Silent Night and the Polish carol Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.

The album idea and concept grew from new arrangements of traditional carols which David Clifton was developing for Carol services and Christmas events in London, and his long held vision to combine traditional seasonal music with a modern feel was recorded and released under the band name IKOS.  This Greek word can be translated as ‘window of light’, chosen because of the depth, mystery and meaning of the historical Christmas message, and the collaborative nature and team effort of the recorded work. It is also the name of a collective, a group of like-minded musicians and artists, some of whom appear on this album. IKOS concerts and events arranged by flautist/saxophonist and founder member Dave Fitzgerald in the past have included some of the core group of artists who appear on this festive recording. The Hammersmith concert saw a guest appearance from Dave Markee on bass guitars, and the IKOS Songs of Praise BBC TV special also featured Joanne Hogg from the Celtic Irish band Iona on vocals, Nick Beggs on Chapman Stick and bass guitar, and Terl Bryant on drums and percussion. The contribution to this recording from the choirs of Peterborough Cathedral, Canadian singer Jane Siberry, and the featured soloists, make this a very special blend of musical styles in this celebration of the Christmas season.

David’s research for the booklet which accompanies the CD gives a brief history of the origin of each carol. Many of our traditional carols are written to popular folk melodies. In the Middle Ages, the singing of church music was restricted to the priests and monks, and the congregation simply listened. In everyday life, however, especially at festivals such as Christmas, people sand of their traditions and faith. Troubadours danced ’round dances’ called ‘caroles’, and bystanders sang, improvising words and tunes. Inspired by saint Francis of Assissi’s Nativity Plays, which began in 1223, the custom spread through Europe. Eventually the word ‘carol’ (from the old French ‘carole’ and the Latin ‘chorula’) came to mean the song rather than the dance, with the subject matter telling of the birth of Jesus and surrounding events.

The beautiful paintings are by London artist Charlie Mackesy, and you can view more of his work and find information about his latest exhibitions at www.charliemackesy.com

This recording draws from the roots of many of our Christmas carols, and unites contemporary and traditional instrumentalists, choirs and singers in a celebration of the true message of Christmas.

As well as downloads from this website, CD’s are also available in the UK from Amazon

Ellice

Ellice 2013

The Voice and X-Factor national finalist Ellice is a passionate, determined and gifted new country pop/rock singer, with an emotive style and wonderful voice. Since winning a local talent competition aged eleven, she has devoted the intervening years to developing her vocal capabilities and pursuing her dreams. In conjunction with playing gigs, concerts and charity events, she has also been devoting time to her full time education with additional studies in the performing arts. Hailing from Hereford, she is in the respected line of creative artists and singers that have begun their careers in this lovely Cathedral city, a diverse list that includes Ellie Goulding, The Misers, Pete Farndon, Martin Chambers & James Honeyman-Scott of The Pretenders, Mott The Hoople and Little Big Stuff.

The experience of being in the X-Factor boot-camp ultimately gave Ellice a new determination to never settle for less than the very best. “It was fun, but my heart has turned away from the glitzy attractions of show business and pop singing. I want to establish a more long-term career singing the music I love and that I’m passionate about; and I love different styles of country music. There are so many great artists that have influenced my singing and performing styles these past few years….. Miley Cyrus, Eva Cassidy, Kirsty Lee Cook, Faith Hill, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey. I am now finding my own voice, and expressing the music and songs that I love in my own way, and finding the unique artist within me. And I’m having great fun pursuing my dreams!”

A free download of I Wanted To Believe You, and an accompanying video by way of an introduction to her music can be found underneath this biography.

Her first single, No Passenger, was released worldwide on the 4th September, along with a new video, and the EP will be released later this month.

Mr. Don

Mr. Don has an early career in music that parallels that of John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. Born within a few months of each other, they were both devoted students of classical music, became organ scholars and later became choirmasters and organists at their local churches in their formative years. And there the musical similarity ends!

For those who are not yet aware of the full range of Mr. Don’s artistic work, you will be pleased to discover that Mr. Don is the music performance artist name of John Donaldson, one of the most accomplished of our new English painters, working in the disciplines water-colour, oils, egg-tempera and gouache. His paintings are widely collected and highly sought after; you can view some of his more recent works on his personal website.

John spent many years playing Hammond B3 and C3 in jazz and blues bands, regularly touring the club circuit throughout the south coast of England,  as well as making frequent trips to play gigs in and around London. The south coast clubs during this time were the centre of a thriving jazz and blues community, where many of the new artists developed their sound and style, getting their first breaks. John met his wife Sandi during these years, and she was a regular singer in some of his band line-ups.

It wasn’t until his move to South Devon to pursue his career in art full time that he has also had time to further develop his music composition and recording. The past ten years have seen the growth of this side of his creativity, and new recordings are planned to fit in with his demanding painting schedule and artwork commitments.

This is electronic music at its very best.  Soundscapes, soaring melodies, powerful rhythms and panoramic ambient textures are at the core of these unique projects. The ebb and flow of each album is carefully structured and designed, rising and falling through rhythmic changes and melodic journeys, creating inspirational musical worlds, each with their own individual hallmark. A mixture of analogue and digital keyboards, sampled voices, instruments and found sounds are manipulated to enhance the programmed elements of each album.

Most of these recordings are created to be listened through completely in one long experiential sonic journey, and Mr Don’s live DJ events and concerts frequently employ entire performances of the albums augmented by sampled work as well as featured musicians and instruments. Mr.Don is one of electronic music’s best-kept secrets, and he has loyal and enthusiastic following, particularly in the South West.

www.johndonaldsonpaintings.com