Just wrapped up an excellent session recording piano with Andy Sorenson, an Australian composer/producer/artist who’s visiting Berlin on one of his stations around Europe this summer. Although Andy was here to record piano, he performs live with a fascinating rig combining a Nord master keyboard with looping gear.
Here’s a video from Andy performing Border from his last CD Underwater Breathing:
Andy Sorenson Bio
Andy Sorenson is a synthesizer wielding, singer-songwriter who uses his custom-built “Eklectic Piano Rig” to organically create lush, atmospheric soundscapes. Andy’s deeply personal and melodic pop songs are translated via ambient keyboard and percussion loops, layered vocal harmonies and the occasional sound effect. Andy’s performances touch and connect. Funny anecdotes and a quirky, optimistic sense of humour set his audience at ease; readying them to take in the full sense of emotion and colour wrapped inside his music.
At the age of 14 Andy was sneaking out his hostel bedroom window to play originals in a band with some older schoolmates around inner city Melbourne. These were formative times. High School mentor Julian Cairns transcribed the Beatles Abbey Road. Teaching his kids the vocal parts, the run of subsequent shows was such a raging success, that some students were given the opportunity to enter a mutitrack studio to record their parts – beginning a love affair that forever changed the focus of Andy’s musical aspirations.
The Sorenson family then moved to “radically rural” Narbethong where Andy’s passion and love for music continued to grow. Feeding on a combination of his brothers’ rock and fusion albums – Focus, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull + Led Zepplin – and his parents’ folky + gospel record collection – Mahalia Jackson, Larry Norman, 2nd Chapter of Acts + The Seekers – Andy clocked up countless hours of practice, pounding the piano and experimenting with songwriting and recording on a cassette four track.
Leaving school to pursue music, Andy began professional life with a 13 month tour of Australia as part of a theatre company, and followed that up by playing gigs and working on recording sessions in studios around Melbourne until eventually securing a label deal. After the release of his self-produced debut album Burning Feet and a long period of intense touring promoting the album, the next number of years were spent solely concentrated on studio production, session work, arranging and writing until he was invited to Rwanda in 2006.
Africa was a life-transforming experience as Andy began work with some amazing East African musicians. Inspired to start a production label (Translator Records) Andy – alongside partner Kathy Johnston – produced and financed albums, video clips and singles in support of his new friends. They set up a touring/promotional arm so that these artists could earn their rightful place as the world-class touring musicians they aspired to be.
With the encouragement of his African brothers, a whole new world of music has now opened up for Andy Sorenson and he is passionate and excited about live performance. The highly anticipated release of his new recording Underwater Breathing led to a recent tour of Australia alongside UK guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm.