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Andrew Skeet - Finding Time (Review)

Andrew Skeet, Finding Time

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

ACCLAIMED composer Andrew Skeet puts his eclectic musical background to hugely engrossing effect on his debut album, Finding Time, a consistently absorbing journey that is more than capable of crossing genres.

Widely known for his compositions for film and television (where his work includes being orchestrator and arranger on Ridley Scott’s The Counsellor, combining with Hans Zimmer on Woman in Gold and collaborating with Guy Ritchie for the forthcoming The Man From UNCLE soundtrack), he has also toured with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and is a member of critically lauded rock band The Divine Comedy.

Often referred to as the British Einaudi, Skeet is currently one of London’s busiest orchestrators, arrangers and conductors – and has somehow found time to deliver this intimate collection of instrumental arrangements that comfortably (and effortlessly) straddle the worlds of classical and cinematic.

Indeed, by Skeet’s own admission, the recording of the LP has proved a welcome experience, allowing him eagerly awaited time and space to write for himself rather than for other people and to present his own inner music core.

It also helped him work through and reconcile some of his emotions from more sombre times in his past, when both he and his wife (fellow musician Karen) lost friends and family members close to them.

It’s little wonder that some of the tracks feel reflective and bittersweet, tempered with a thoughtfulness and stillness that lends it extra emotional gravitas. Hence, arrangements such as Setting Out are both poignant and beautiful – the tender piano hooks and subtle orchestrations (violins, etc) combining to create something wonderfully melancholy. It feels like the start of a special journey for both composer and listener.

And if it’s urgency that you want, then moments like Changing Lines and The Unforgiving Minute provide them, stripping away the more classical elements in favour of either throbbing electronics or rapid violin strokes. The former, especially, feels like a soundtrack moment in an action film, possibly even the work of a Zimmer or Craig Armstrong. The latter, meanwhile, fuses the urgent with the fragile, slowing things down to some truly sombre arrangements that are all the more telling for the way in which they arrived.

Title track Finding Time, meanwhile, opens amid a moody synth line, before working on a highly atmospheric level and then unfolding into a mouthwatering layered composition where the strings really do come into their own (and sound brilliantly cinematic). It’s a fitting finale that ensures you depart the album on a high.

Put together, this is a masterful musical journey delivered by a real class act. Its appeal should be extremely broad.

Download picks: Setting Out, Changing Lines, Pursuing The Horizon, Findigg Time

Track listing:

  1. Passing Phase – Andrew Skeet
  2. Setting Out – Andrew Skeet / Andrew Skeet Band
  3. Killing Time – Andrew Skeet / Andrew Skeet Band
  4. Changing Lines – Andrew Skeet
  5. Pursuing the Horizon – Andrew Skeet / Martin Robertson / Andrew Skeet Band
  6. Reflect – Andrew Skeet / Andrew Skeet Band
  7. Taking Off – Andrew Skeet / Karen Glen / Everton Nelson
  8. Stop the Clock – Andrew Skeet / Richard George / Bruce White
  9. The Unforgiving Minute – Andrew Skeet / Richard George / Bruce White
  10. Finding Time – Andrew Skeet / Andrew Skeet Band