Orchestral Writing: Martialis

I’ve been working pretty hard at upping my game on the orchestration and arranging side of things over the past year. Here’s one of my early orchestral offerings (my first complete composition actually – this was my orchestration 1 final a few months back – submitted from the road while touring with Clegg).

It’s called “Martialis” (Latin for “Of War” or “Warlike”). I wrote this short theme with film in mind (Adventure / Period theme music). I’m keen to hear thoughts on this (especially from other composers or orchestrators) and welcome any comments and constructive criticisms. I’m still a bit unsure if it’s strong enough after the ostinato section in the middle but let me know what you think!

Thanks to Waldo Alexander for recording tandem first and second violin parts in studio on a shoestring budget. Thanks also to the Berklee Online school Orchestration and Arranging faculty for their patience and guidance and to Tim Davies for his phenomenally excellent orchestration blog debreved.

Here’s the audio and the score:



MARTIALIS score pdf


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Updates / interviews / studio build

A few things have transpired recently.

I did a show at The Venue in Melrose Arch last month with a few friends. I played a bunch of material from my Anthems of a Stranger release and  Johnny Clegg, Claire Johnston and Liesl Graham came along to perform some of their material with me and my rocking band. It was a great experience working with these exceptional artists and Brendan Ross came along to play some superb soprano sax to put the cherry on top.

Lesedi CrecheAll the proceeds from that show went to the Lesedi Crèche in Malatjie (near Lanseria), an organization which really puts the money to good use, funding the needs of the children from the informal settlement who attend the preschool there. We exceeded the target amount we had hoped to raise, thanks to generous donations by several people who came to the event, as well as donations from Hlengiwe Pitso (vocalist in the band) and Michael Canfield from TixSa.

There is a gallery of pics from that show here 


In other news, Muse magazine have published a fun interview with me here and a CD review (scored 8/10!) here.

Plans are afoot for me to write and co-produce some collaborative material over the next few months with some serious South African artists for their upcoming releases. I’ll be sure to update here on how that pans out and announce when the material is released. I’m very excited at the prospect of working with these great people on their new recordings!

I am also building a studio in my home, getting advice wherever I can from people I know who have been building studios and recording for a long time.  It’s going to be great to have a facility right here where I can record projects and write and I’ll be starting preprod for my next solo album in this room in a few months’ time. See pics below for progress to date. I’ll get some pics of the room up again once we’re ready to hit record, hopefully by this summer in South Africa.

That’s all for now – more news as it happens…


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Royal Albert Hall


I was fortunate enough to realise one of my lifelong dreams this past week. I walked onto stage with Johnny Clegg to perform for a little over two hours at the Royal Albert Hall to a large and appreciative crowd on Wednesday night. I’m including some pics below which will no doubt say louder than words what the experience was like.

Despite the cold UK weather (0 degrees Centigrade), we had a fantastic trip.


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Anthems of a Stranger has been launched in Jhb!


It’s been on shelves for a bit, but we officially christened this album release with a shindig at Tanz Cafe Fourways on Tuesday night. With a fantastic Band (Neill Ettridge – Drums, Trevor Donjeany – Bass, Alistair Coakley – Guitar, Ashish Joshi – Tabla, Hlengiwe Pitso – Vocals, Tumie Mfecane – Vocals and Andy Innes – Guitar / vocal) the gig went down really well with rave reviews from all who came along. The band whipped through a set of Seven tracks from the Anthems of a Stranger release to thunderous applause from the large audience. This showcase was just the precursor to more upcoming shows, to give the audience and press a taste of what’s in store and to highlight some of the album material.

Thanks to everyone who turned up and special thanks to the “profile” guests who took the time to come and help celebrate.

A special thank you to Andy Furtner at Gearhouse, who provided cabling, mults and splitters for the live recording and a HUGE thank you to the Gearhouse affiliate Ledvision (under the able leadership of Richard Baker) who provided the immense video wall that you can see featured here behind the band. Thanks also to Warren Gibson from Plug Music for his efforts and to Jules (who also did the MC gig, incidentally) and his team from Sstream who shot multi-camera footage of the show. Thanks to Raeven Brough for doing a great job at the guitar tech position too. Last but not least, a huge thank you to Desiree for everything she does so exceptionally well.

The launch T-shirts and CD will be available here from Friday 09/11/12.

Andy Innes

Andy plays Tugela Crossing on his P22

Alistair and singers

L-R Alistair Coakley (gtr), Tumie Mfecane (vox) and Hlengiwe Pitso (vox)


Alistair Coakley and Andy Innes playing guitars

Andy Innes launch

Beauties and the beast (Tumie Mfecane, Hlengiwe Pitso, Andy Innes)

Andy Innes Anthems launch

Hottest rhythm section in town (Neill Ettridge – drums, Trevor Donjeany – Bass)

Andy Innes

Andy Plays 8-string Baritone on Ride to the Sea

Andy Innes launch

Ashish Joshi (tabla) and Neill Ettridge (drum kit)

Here are some related reviews and articles:

http://cleonecassidy.blogspot.com/2012/11/pure-genius.html (Cleone Cassidy’s Blog – she said it was pure genius, we like this)

http://museonline.co.za/news/andy-innes-releases-debut-album-anthems-of-a-stranger/ (Muse announcement and article)

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Anthems Launch in Jhb!


On Tuesday the 6th of November, I’ll be at the official Joburg launch for Anthems of a Stranger, playing a set of tunes from the album. The CD will be available there, along with Tees and some other unique giveaways. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

Event: Andy Innes’ debut solo album launch of Anthems of a Stranger

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2012

Time: 19:30

Venue: Tanz Café, Fourways, Johannesburg

Tickets: R30, albums available to buy at the show

Event URLwww.facebook.com/events/202263319907042/



shay@tanzcafe.co.za to book or call 011 658 0277




The launch of Andy Innes’ debut album, Anthems of a Stranger, takes place at Tanz Café on 6 November with a live performance by Andy and an all-star band. R30 entrance and the album will be available to buy at the show.

Anthems of a Stranger, the debut solo project from multi-talented musician Andy Innes, is a mix of world folk-rock, hard-hitting social commentary and elegant instrumental interludes. Andy is also the musical director, guitarist and backing vocalist for the Johnny Clegg band. His 14-track offering has a multitude of collaborations and combines arrangements of maskandi guitars and mbaqanga with more mainstream rock sounds. Named after a line from the socially reflective track Aliens, the album is a blend of lyrically emotional gems and instrumental magnificence which showcase Andy’s gentle vocal abilities in the first eight songs before affirming his talent and technical guitar abilities in the remaining six tracks.


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