Even when working in the background, as an arranger for the likes of Blur and Coldplay or co-producing Peter Gabriel albums, Metcalfe’s contributions are always special. His ear for timbre and his instinct for musical drama make him an extraordinary collaborator – empathetic but never unassuming. Primarily a violist, Metcalfe classically trained at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music and the Hochschule in Berlin. Early live experiences as a member of Durutti Column led Metcalfe to meet Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson, and the two men launched the pioneering Factory Classical in 1989. Among Metcalfe’s first signings were his own Duke Quartet, pianist Rolf Hind and composer Steve Martland. The Duke Quartet, with its gutsy appetite for contemporary repertoire and adventurous commissions won worldwide acclaim, frequently working with contemporary dance companies, pop artists and in film and television. In 2008, with The Bays and the Heritage Orchestra, Metcalfe took part in a project so audacious that those who participated still find it hard to believe. Starting with a blank page on an electronic scorepad, Metcalfe, along with fellow composer Simon Hale, wrote an entire orchestral score live, in real time – a kind of musical ‘extreme sport’. In the meantime, Metcalfe has become one of the UK’s leading arrangers working with many artists including Bat For Lashes, Cranberries, Peter Doherty and Pretenders.
'The Appearance of Colour' will be released on Real World Records on June 08, 2015.