Taken from the forthcoming album, Music for String Quartet, Piano and Celesta, January Waltz is the hauntingly beautiful single from Francis Macdonald. Buy it from iTunes, here.
Francis Macdonald (born 1970) is best-known as the drummer for Scottish alternative rock band Teenage Fanclub. But he's making waves in the classical world with his sublime, minimalist classical music.
- Macdonald came late to classical music and has no formal training. However he composes, arranges and orchestrates everything himself, saying he wants to "be responsible for every note."
- He cites key musical influences as Philip Glass, Ennio Morricone and Arvo Pärt. He also cites the inspiration of fellow Glasgow-based composer Malcolm Lindsay who, like Macdonald, did not formally study classical music.
- In addition to Teenage Fanclub, Macdonald has played with BMX Bandits, Eugenius, Kevin Ayers, Edwyn Collins, Ian McCulloch, Belle & Sebastian and Max Richter.
- His album, Music for String Quartet, piano and celeste features works played by a quartet from the Scottish Ensemble, and was made with the help of a grant from Creative Scotland. The album was recorded at the Castle Of Doom studio in Glasgow, belonging to Scottish post-rockers Mogwai - because Macdonald liked their piano.
- Macdonald was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award 2013 for his soundtrack to The Lost Purse. His songs and music have appeared in comedy films and TV shows, in the three-part documentary series Commonwealth City.
- He recorded a solo album called Sauchiehall & Hope - A Pop Opera under the pseudonym Nice Man and The Art of Hanging Out as Nice Man and the Bad Boys. He runs Shoeshine Records/Spit & Polish in Glasgow and manages the bands Camera Obscura and Attic Lights.
Did you know?
Macdonald has produced a currently unreleased album by legendary rock'n'roll star, Jerry Lee Lewis.