Isles singer-songwriter and folk festival regular Terry Balfour is set to release his new single next week after racking up plays on local airwaves.
Wars Free will be digitally released on Wednesday and was produced by Gavin Monaghan, who has worked with musical giants including Robert Plant, Editors and Ocean Colour Scene.
As a youngster Balfour was first taught the fiddle at Brae Primary School by Bernadette Porter. He later picked up the guitar in high school.
“I feel grateful for the musical education offered to students in Shetland as it really does open your mind to new creative worlds,” he said.
“There came to be many bands in our school all of which Arthur Nicholson had a part to play at some time or another! We had a great education and I went to school with many lovely people.
“Your first instinct when writing music is to cram as many ideas into a piece as possible however you eventually learn to trust your emotions and play off of a motif.
“The first song I wrote was a strange thing about space with about 6 different key changes which went on about as long as they say space does! Today I keep it short and sweet.”
Shetland Folk Festival has blessed Balfour with a wealth of exposure to top musicians.
The likes of Tony McManus, Vasen and J.P Cormier have stretched his imagination and he has played the folk festival a few times with Western Isles friends in gaelic folk/rock group Macanta.
“I have also rocked out at T-in The Park with Glasgow rock group Jocasta Sleeps, however we broke up a few years ago now,” he said.
For the lad from Brae, musical inspiration can sometimes come in dreams, but, he said: “I always feel that music flows naturally like a conversation with an old friend.
“Melody is my language in this world and only recently have I found a voice for some interesting lyrics.
“When I am inspired to write a song I feel an emotion which is translated somehow into a melody.”
Piano rock song Wars Free has been played on SIBC – a track Balfour penned a few years ago.
Local ecological photographer Richard Shucksmith allowed him to use one of his coastal pictures of Shetland as part of the single artwork.
“I wrote this song a few years ago during a low point, and expresses an emotional conflict I was having however there is a happy end,” Balfour said.
“The song is about how refusing to see one an others point of view which leads too often to unnecessary conflict.
“In music we have to stay in tune, the message being to try understanding each others point of view so we can build a more harmonious society. For without spending time in the other camp we cannot even negotiate effectively.”
Balfour approached Monaghan who agreed to produce some songs for him and the pair have stayed in touch since the recording session.
“He introduced me to drummer Paul Stone who laid down an excellent energetic drum track for me, I then with Gavin and his engineer Joseph’s expertise recorded piano, bass, guitar vocals and other interesting sounds,” Balfour said.
“The whole process was very smooth and organic as everything came together. It was very satisfying hearing the final mix which you can now hear on the radio. I’m very excited about that.
“I have been living in Glasgow for the past few years where I’m currently putting a new band together. I love Shetland and it would mean a lot to play here again with my new material. I hope once I have my band together that I may be permitted to perform.
“I am digitally releasing my single Wars Free on 1st June on all platforms including iTunes, which comes with a bonus track Heat of The Night.
“The electric guitar riff for this was written as part of my higher music composition at Brae High , so has been around for quite a while.”
For more go to www.terrybalfourmusic.com
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