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Tony Roberts - My Story

Chance Meetings And A 200 Year Old Cello

Do I believe in religion ....no! I do believe in people, energy and Karma Waves though! Which is how this album has been made!
Meeting Joseph Sellers was just such a Karma filled experience which I refuse to believe was sheer chance!
Sitting in Costa Coffee in Bangor at lunch, savouring my favourite Cappuccino and musing over the progress of the album and how I was going to pay for it all, I heard one of the staff talking about classical music and orchestral conducting with one of the customers. At the same time a fresh faced bloke in a Costa outfit strolled past, (you know the one, the black apron and the red shirt and badge with ‘Barista Maestro’ emblazoned on it) , so I stopped him and asked him if the other guy played any instruments classically. It turns out that whilst the other bloke played trumpet, this guy was a Cellist and introduced himself as Joseph Sellers. In fact not only did he play the Cello turns out he makes them too!
I had been looking for someone to provide the strong Cello for Blue (the last track on the album). I have always seen Blue as a lament, an inescapable situation that leads to a dark place in your heart. I felt like this sentiment could only be captured by having real Cello leading the song through its corridors or raw emotion. I put the idea to Joseph and he said he would like to meet and listen to some of the music.
Next visit to the shop I played the music I had already recorded to Joseph and he agreed to play on the album.....one big problem...his Cello was still in the USA!
So, Cellist but no Cello!
Step in great friend and all-round outdoor action man, interesting person and owner of Natures Way (a company committed to teaching in the outdoor environment)....Jim Langley.
I’m in the same Coffee shop for our ‘Dead Poets Society’ surreptitious lunchtime meetings where we discuss life the universe and everything. I mentioned Joseph and the lack of a Cello. Turns out Jim’s Grandfather had left a Cello to the family which was stored at his Fathers house down South. Jim being the wonderfully generous person that he is volunteered to bring the Cello up as soon as possible so Joseph could play it on the album... Weird co-incidence or another wave of Karma?! Sometimes maybe things are just meant!
Two weeks later I met Jim in town...carrying an enormous battered old Cello case. I couldn’t believe he had brought it up so quickly (Jim does what he says he’s going to do.....which in my experience is a rare attribute)
We went to the Coffee shop and ordered our usual and began discussing the Cello when Joseph appeared from the back room. He took the Cello into the back of the shop and quickly returned with the words ‘do you know this Cello is probably more than 200 years old?’
I don’t usually remember words verbatim, but you don’t hear that very often! Jim’s shock was obvious by the split second slack jawed incredulity on his face! We were all so gobsmacked that I ordered double espressos all round to celebrate!
One month later Joseph Sellers was playing the same Cello on several of the album tracks at Bryn Derwen Studios and this is the lamenting sound you can hear through Blue. I feel this sentiment is so appropriate and eternal and has captured the essence of the song...so a massive thanks to Joseph and Jim great friends and amazing people.
This album has been constructed on a a wave of hard work, good fortune(Karma), chance meetings and most of all incredible, talented people an an raw emotion and passion that refused to not be heard.
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