John Metcalfe is a classically trained composer and violinist whose intriguing and eclectic career has taken him from studying viola at the Royal Northern College of Music and later at the prestigious Hochschule in Berlin, to being a founder member of the Durutti Column, to acting as the catalyst for the record label Factory Classical, an offshoot of Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, to writing string arrangements for various popular artists, including Morrissey, Simple Minds and The Pretenders. Since 2010, John has worked extensively with Peter Gabriel, writing arrangements for his album, Scratch My Back, and for the accompanying tour and, in 2011, he co-produced the New Blood album with Gabriel, arranging and orchestrating versions of songs from his back catalogue.
Most recently John has released ‘Absence’, an album which focuses on death and what it leaves behind, and how people try to make sense of loss; “The record is really a series of imagined conversations between people in a relationship when one of them is dying. It’s mainly about the present, the time remaining, but also the past and the subconscious dialogues we continue to have once we’ve lost people close to us.”
John created the playlist to reflect upon the routine of his daily walk and the variations of beauty which he experiences each day: “I’ve recently started walking more - mostly in the evenings. I do a loop from my house onto a wide open meadow that circles past a river, an allotment and a canal. The beauty of a repeated walk is that each time it unveils more detail as the variation in time of day, light and weather plays on the senses. This music creates a beautiful space for that to happen."
Upcoming UK live shows: