John Metcalfe

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 founding 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 MorrisseySimple 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.

In 2001, John released an album of his own music, The Inner Line, to positive reviews.  In 2004, another album, Scorching Bay, was released, and in 2008 A Darker Sunset, about which The Word remarked; “It’s a gloriously schizophrenic collection, one minute lazily teasing out notes amid floaty atmospherics, then jack-knifing into a 60’s spy thriller set piece, heavy on brass and scratching.”

In 2015, Real World released John’s album The Appearance Of Colour to much acclaim, with the first single from the album, Just Let Go featuring Bat For LashesNatasha Khan on vocals. John’s album Absence, was released on Neue Meister in September 2018. The album delivers a thoughtful and uplifting rumination on what death leaves behind, and how we come to terms with it. John’s Absence Remixes album was released in 2019 and features remixes by Sebastian Mullaert, Robot Koch, Henrik Schwarz and Richard Spaven.

John released Carols Without Words in November 2022, breathing fresh life into 10 time-honoured seasonal favourites, converting O Come, O Come Emmanuel into a showpiece for strings, and creating an instant Christmas classic with his shimmering version of Carol of the Bells.

In September 2023, John released Tree via Real World Records. The sumptuous new album consists of eight immersive compositions that take the listener through twenty-four hours in the life of one of nature’s most majestic creations.

John Metcalfe est un compositeur et violoniste de formation classique, dont la carrière intrigante et éclectique l’a mené de ses études de l’alto au Royal Northern College of Music et ensuite au prestigieux Hochschule à Berlin, à devenir un des membres fondateurs du Durutti Column, à agir en tant que catalyseur pour le label Factory Classical, une conséquence de Factory Records de Tony Wilson, à composer des arrangements de cordes pour plusieurs artistes populaires, tels que Morrissey, Simple Minds, et The Pretenders. Depuis 2010, John a travaillé intensivement avec Peter Gabriel, en composant des arrangements pour son album Scratch My Back, et pour la tournée accompagnante et, en 2011, il a co-produit l’album New Blood avec Gabriel, arrangant et orchestrant des versions de chansons de son catalogue.

En 2001, John a sorti un album de sa propre musique, The Inner Line, avec des critiques très positives. En 2004, un autre album, Scorching Bay, est sorti, et en 2008 A Darker Sunset, dont The Word a noté: “C’est une collection glorieusement schizophrène, qui une minute démêle paresseusement les notes au milieu des atmosphériques vaporeuses, puis dérape sur une pièce d’espionnage thriller des années 60, lourd sur les cuivres et scratches.”

En 2015, Real World ont sorti l’album de John The Appearance Of Colour, qui a reçu de superbes critiques, avec le premier single de l’album, Just Let Go, comprenant Natasha Khan de Bat For Lashes au chant.


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