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Preview: Luke Daniels @ St Pancras Old Church, London.
One of the world’s best melodeon players and critically acclaimed singer songwriter, Luke Daniels is touring an all-new ‘coin operated’ show, combining his outstanding musicianship as a songwriter, guitarist, pianist and melodeon virtuoso with an authentic Polyphon machine c1880. Beginning at the South Arts Centre in Reading, the tour takes place between February and March and includes dates at London’s Old St Pancras Church and Cecil Sharp House.
Polyphon is a disc-playing music box, a mechanical device first manufactured by the Polyphon Musikwerke, located in Leipzig, Germany. Invented in 1870, full-scale production started around 1897 and continued into the early 1900s.
With PRS for Music Foundation, Daniels has developed a computer programme that can create coordinates for his own music on the mechanical music machine, via its 19” steel discs. Daniels painstakingly restored the 19th century 4ft high music box and reverse engineered the Victorian technology to be able to arrange well-known folk tunes like Cumberland Reel and Canadee IO for polyphon.
Luke’s signature style and elegant song-writing has graced stage and studio in the company of Mark Radcliffe, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Chris Wood, Lau, Cara Dillon, Jon Boden of Bellowhead and as a member of the internationally renowned Riverdance Band.
Luke has been playing professionally since the age of 17 during which time he’s created an impressive and varied canon of work, including solo projects and albums within and outside the folk music world. Collaborating and performing alongside musicians such as fellow melodeon star Andy Cutting, composer Howard Shore as a soloist on The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit soundtracks recorded at Abbey Road, bassist Alec Dankworth and Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale.
Now based in Glasgow, Luke is a Celtic Connections regular and frequent guest in Cara Dillon’s band. In recent years, Luke has focused primarily on his song writing based on ideas ranging from modern day progressives to Scottish Enlightenment theories. His desire to explore the role that folk music plays in strengthening our sense of community has inspired a new album due out in March 2016, which combines Luke´s songs with a c1880 Polyphon machine.
The show at Old St. Pancras Church is on 14th March, tickets available here.