Meet Tony Randle. The man behind ‘Birdsong and Folk Song.’ This year is his Edinburgh Fringe Debut.
Would you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a guitarist and composer. I play all kinds of guitar. Lately, I’ve be focusing on the nylon string, classical. Or ‘Spanish’ guitar as it’s sometimes known.
You’re about to perform at the Fringe for the first time – how do you feel about it?
Myself and my vocalist, Alice Williams, are pretty excited about the whole thing. There’s a lot of planning and rehearsing gone into preparing for this. We’re looking forward to it all coming together.
“Birdsong and Folk Song” is coming to The Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, what can you tell us about it?
It’s an acoustic duo act with me on guitar and Alice on vocals and flute. Some of it will feature solo guitar pieces.
Where did the name “Birdsong and Folk Song” come from?
Well the Birdsong part comes from a project which came about when I took up birding. I started recording calls and sounds instead of photographing the birds. I had it in mind to compose something relating to the whole experience of being in the countryside. The scope of it was such that it was a long time gestating.
Then, a chance conversation with one of the staff at WWT Arundel led to an invitation to play at the centre. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. I realised that a series of pieces on specific birds – their character as well as their calls – was what I needed to do.
Fortunately, it all came together for my first performance! It was a rare opportunity to play music at the place of its genesis, and I was lucky enough to be asked back several times.
When I was planning to come to Edinburgh I decided to mix the acoustic solo pieces of Birdsong with some actual songs. Being played acoustically meant I selected folk oriented pieces mostly. Some are about Scotland in various ways. Hopefully no one will mind if a couple stray slightly towards pop or jazz for variety….
So hence “Birdsong and Folk Song.”
“Birdsong and Folk Song’s” inspiration is the WWT Arundel Site. Do you often seek inspiration from nature? what influences your creative process most?
The Birdsong CD strapline is ‘Music inspired by nature’. Actually though, inspiration can come from anywhere. As long as you reflect your own experience as honestly as you can. The songs have many different sources. One of them is even about shipbuilding in Govan!
How would you describe what to expect from your show, in three words?
Original melodic music.