2012 Sydney Festival Media Release
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NOVEMBER 2, 2011
Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre, January 10-15
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, January 18-22
“Tubular Bells for Two is 52 minutes of unrelenting wonder, performed by two blokes just crazy enough to play it all for a live and very appreciative audience.” Arts Hub
“A hilarious and strangely moving night.” Richard Glover, ABC Sydney
Two very ambitious musicians take up more than 20 instruments to present Mike Oldfield’s Celtic-folk-rock opus Tubular Bells in a unique musical – and often acrobatic – performance.
Multi-instrumentalists Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts have arranged the entire score of Tubular Bells to be played live by just two blokes, bringing the influential masterpiece to life in all its multi-layered madness and subtle beauty in Tubular Bells for Two.
Oldfield’s beautiful and sprawling progressive Tubular Bells shot to number one in charts around the world in 1973-74, throwing the young composer into the international spotlight and kick-starting Richard Branson’s Virgin music empire as its inaugural album.
Oldfield recorded each instrument and layered them on multi-track tape. In Tubular Bells for Two, Holdsworth and Roberts juggle electric/acoustic/bass guitars, keyboards, percussion, drums, mandolin and, of course, tubular bells, to create a theatrical experience of wonder – and just a little chaos.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Holdsworth has written music for film, theatre and dance as well as toured in many Australian bands. He is the guitarist/singer/songwriter of The Saturns, who won the 2006 BMA Award for Best Rock Band; a member of folk-psych-country outfit The Maple Trail; and plays lead guitar in the acoustic trio Ten Thumb Tom.
Aidan Roberts is a songwriter and guitarist for popular psychedelic rock band, Belles Will Ring, who have released the albums Crystal Theatre (2011), Mood Patterns (2007) and Broader Than Broadway (2008), and have toured Australia regularly, performing at festivals including Big Day Out. Roberts is also songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for The Maple Trail. As a solo artist, he has toured Australia and the United States and released the albums Dirty Echo Spark (2007) and Radio Twilight Lost (2008).
Holdsworth and Roberts have been performing together for many years, with Holdsworth producing Roberts’ first solo album Sounds of Planes (2000) as well as playing drums in The Maple Trail since 2006.
Mike Oldfield‘s Tubular Bells is perhaps the most unlikely smash hit record ever to be released. After unsuccessfully approaching various record labels with the demo, Oldfield met the then very young Branson, who gave Oldfield the use of his recording studio, The Manor House. Tubular Bells stayed in the British charts for 279 weeks, climbed slowly but steadily until it reached number one, where it displaced Oldfield’s second album, Hergest Ridge, which had been number one for three weeks.
Oldfield’s instrument list, of which he played all of them for the 1973 recording, included: acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, Farfisa, Hammond, and Lowrey organs, flageolet, fuzz guitars, glockenspiel, “honky tonk” piano (piano modified to sound more percussive), mandolin, piano, “Piltdown Man”, percussion, Spanish guitar, producer, “taped motor drive amplifier organ chord”, timpani, vocals and, of course, tubular bells. UK singer/songwriter, artist and wit, Vivian Stanshall provided the narration for the album and the now vital climaxing line “plus…Tubular Bells”.