Billy Thompson is a classically trained improvising violinist performing in numerous different styles of music.
These styles vary from his highly popular band Billy Thompson Gypsy Style to performing with internationally acclaimed jazz artists such as saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson OBE and pianist/composer Mike Westbrook OBE. Billy performs on five albums and a DVD with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and is an integral part of the wonderful Glad Day by Mike Westbrook featuring on the live DVD released last year.
Other current projects include a live looping project with composer Warren Greveson called Dolennu and also a project with a highly talented singer/songwriter (and wine producer) called Gavin Crisfield.
During Billy’s time living in Wales, Billy has performed and recorded with many of Wales’ finest musicians and singer/songwriters including Meic Stevens (for ten years), Gai Toms (Mim Twm Llai), Heather Jones, Sian James, Delwyn Sion, Dafydd Iwan, Alun Tan Lan and Gwilym Bowen Rhys. During his time in South Wales, Billy was an integral part of The Amigos performing all around Wales and featuring on 3 studio albums.
Meeting singer/songwriter Rhian Williams (now Thompson) led to the creation of the Welsh band Amledd and the release of the album Cyfnod Cyntaf.
Now residing in Bala, North Wales with his family since 2005, Billy also runs a recording studio offering recording services, location recording and an online session musician service. For further details visit Thompsound Music.
Warren Greveson is an electronic music composer, having composed and produced music for the BBC, ITV, Discovery and the Children’s Channel.
He was a founding member of the eclectic electronic jazz orchestra Zyklus, along with British jazz legends Neil Ardley and Ian Carr and ex-Lansdcape member John Walters, performing in such places as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican and Purcell Room. They were featured in an hour long programme on Radio 3 and produced one album, Virtual Realities, which received considerable critical acclaim.
Warren has released two albums so far: Voyager, an electronic work following the journeys made by the spacecraft Voyagers 1 and 2 (think of it as a reboot of Holst’s Planets); and Songs From The Grand Massif, a jazz-rock trip though the French Alps, featuring the wonderful Billy Thompson on violin. Both albums are graced with the considerable drumming skills of Jon Hiseman.
In 2012, Warren rearranged the Voyager music to be the world’s first work for orchestra and four iPads, with an accompanying film produced by Maurice Lock. This has been performed several times, both in the UK and USA. He is also currently reworking Voyager Reimagined to be performed by Zyklist as a live project, again merging audio and video, and this should be at a town near you later on in 2017, which will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the iconic spacecraft.
It was during the making of Songs From The Grand Massif that Warren and Billy considered the idea of forming a loop-based band, mixing electronic loops with loops created by Billy’s violin, which is heavily treated on some pieces. This led to the formation of the band Dolennu, augmented by Steve Roberts on drums and Maurice Lock providing visual accompaniment. Their first album will include both a CD of the music and a DVD of the visual interpretations of the music and is available now.
Steve Roberts was the drummer/keyboard player and writer in Godsticks since 2009, releasing one EP and three albums with the band. They have also toured alongside The Aristocrats (Marco Minnemann/Bryan Beller/Guthrie Govan) and The Mike Keneally Band as well as appearing at numerous festivals.
Steve also played for award winning prog band Magenta and appeared on their latest dvd/album Chaos from the Stage (2016) as well as the double live album On Our Way To Who Knows Where (2012), recorded on the continent.
He was also one third of the UK Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute Noddys Puncture and was in the band when Keith Emerson appeared with them for a show. That concert is available on a live cd.
Maurice Lock recently completed a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree at Coleg Menai, North Wales. During this time he worked with various combinations of video, sound, sculptural objects, installations and photography, exploring the nature and representation of the sublime.
He subsequently began working on a lens-based project, digitally re-imagining the spaces beneath motorway flyovers as Cathedrals to the Sublime and three of these images were selected for the Galeri Open 2014 exhibition in Caernarfon during October 2014. His video collaboration with Warren started in 2012 with the video accompanying Voyager for Orchestra and Four iPads and continued with two performances in October 2014 of an expanded version being performed at Stetson University and Mt Dora Center for the Arts in Florida by the Stetson University Symphony Orchestra. Maurice is soon to launch a bespoke service to visualise walking trails, coastlines or any other personally significant geographical feature in the manner of Anglesey In Bits, a piece from his 2nd Year degree course.
Joining Dolennu as the visual partner has seen Maurice take a move towards loop-based video. This will be shown at Dolennu concerts and will be a mix of video loops and live action from webcams suitably placed near members of the band. He performed video works to the master recordings from the album project and these will be included on a DVD when the album is released.