Ed Alleyne-Johnson - 1992 - Purple Electric Violin Concerto
Purple Electric Violin Concerto review:
This was Ed's debut solo album. It is a digitally recorded live performance with no backing tapes, overdubs or remixing. All sounds on this recording are produced completely live, using electric violin, digital delays and effects pedals.
The violin that Ed uses in all his recordings and gigs is very distinctive. Ed built it himself, after seeking technical advice from renowned folk violinists Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick and Ric Sanders. It has five strings, normally tuned to C, G, D, A, E - i.e. the standard pitches of viola and violin combined. It's built from American oak, walnut and maple, with an ebony fingerboard and built-in Zeta pickup. Ed says: "It's got a very heavyweight body - if you compare it to a guitar it's like a Gibson Les Paul. You get a lot of sustain and some really good rock distortion sounds out of it."
Please note that this album has appeared with different cover artwork.
Ed Alleyne-Johnson biography:
Ed Alleyne-Johnson and Denyze D'Arcy were born and brought up at opposite ends of the same street in Liverpool, though they never met until their teens, when Denyze appeared on stage at a sixth-form dance at Ed's school, playing saxophone with the "Walkie Talkies" (featuring guitarist Wayne Hussey!). Although it was love at first sight, their careers kept them apart until much later...
Ed went to study Fine Art at Oxford University, where he quickly became established as a bass player and violinist in the Oxford music scene. After finishing college, he took to the streets of Europe with a home-made electric violin, battery-powered amp and effects pedals, and started to develop the unique style of multi-layered playing which became his trademark. On this subject, Ed says, "It's continuing a tradition really. I've always thought people like Vivaldi and Bach, if digital delays had been around in their day, they'd have used them ... A lot of kids learn violin at school and then when they get older want to join a rock band and then feel excluded because the violin is stereotyped as a classical instrument ... I think it's silly the way people put music into these rigid categories. To me honesty is the most important thing with music. You just play and perform what you feel from the heart, if people want to categorise it fine, but to me it's just music". Hear hear.
In 1989 he came to the attention of cult band New Model Army, and was asked to play violin on their Top 30 single Vagabonds and their Thunder and Consolation album. This was the start of a five-year association with the band, during which time he played electric violin and keyboards for over 500 concerts worldwide, and contributed to the albums Impurity (1990), Raw Melody Men (1991) and the Ballads EP Living In The Rose (1993). This led on to the recording of two solo albums.
Menwhile Denyze stayed in Liverpool, working hard with a number of bands, and earning a reputation as a powerful vocalist and songwriter.
Ed and Denyze started working together after he heard her sing in Liverpool's famous Cavern Club in 1994, and was so stunned by her voice that he decided to join forces with her as a song-writing duo. The first song they wrote together was "Winter Son", and whilst writing the rest of their first album Fly Before Dawn, they fell in love again, got married and bought a house in Liverpool where they now live and work.
1-4. Oxford Suite [MP3] (part 1)
5-8. Inner City Music
10. Concrete Eden
Equation Records ECQD001 (1992)
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