Adrian Snell – Song Of An Exile (1989)

FrontCover1Adrian Snell (born 1954) is an English pianist, keyboard player, singer and composer.

Classically trained at the Leeds College of Music and with a music diploma to his name (LGSM), Adrian’s musical career spans nearly four decades. During this time he has produced twenty-three original albums: seventeen solo albums and six major concept works. His major commissions include: ‘The Virgin’ from the BBC, ‘The Passion’, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and premièred on BBC Radio One, ‘The Cry: A Requiem for the Lost Child’, premièred at St Paul’s Cathedral in aid of Save the Children, and numerous Dutch commissions including HTV’s special musical documentary ‘Song of an Exile’ recorded at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem. He has performed extensively in the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States, Australia, and throughout Europe, and has had many TV and radio performances worldwide.

In the late 1990s Adrian semi-retired as a professional musician to train as a music therapist. This was a bold move by an artist whose albums and concerts attracted audiences across Europe. He completed the post graduate diploma in Music Therapy Adrian Snell 3(Dip. Mus. Th.) awarded by the University of Bristol through the Faculty of Medicine. Adrian now works as a Music Therapist and Arts Therapy Consultant for children with special needs at Three Ways School, Bath, and regularly visits a school in Korce, Albania.

June 1995 saw the premier release of Adrian’s major, two album concept work ‘City of Peace’. The work explores the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, drawing on poems written by Jewish authors spanning from six thousand years ago to the present day. City of Peace also comes as a climax to eleven years of searching and discovery that began with a journey into the lives of Jewish men, women, and children caught up in the Nazi Holocaust.

It is eleven years since I walked through the gates of Bergen Belsen. I shall never forget that day; it changed me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Music is, in the end, the language of my heart, so not surprisingly much of my writing since then expresses the search for answers and meaning in all that the Holocaust and Jewish history opens up in us.

Through his work as a music therapist Adrian has drawn inspiration to record a new album, ‘Fierce Love’. The album draws inspiration both from the relationships he has formed, and the extraordinary range of instruments that are central to his work and now contribute to the unique soundscape of the album. ‘Fierce love’ has all the hallmarks of an Adrian Snell album: rich sound textures, haunting melodies, intelligent lyrics – and a remarkable ability to connect the listener with the subject of the songs at a profound level. ‘Fierce Love’ was released on 28 September 2013. You can purchase a copy from this website, iTunes and Amazon.

His daughter, Carla Jae, has followed in her father’s footsteps and is now an accomplished singer/songwriter with ‘The Carla Jae Band’ also featuring William Rutherford and Blain Weller. His son Jamie has also pursued a music career and is currently part of the London-based band ‘Bird of Prey’. (wikipedia)

Adrian Snell 1

After Adrian’s ‘life changing’ experience in Bergen-Belsen, it was no surprise that his journey continued with this beautiful and moving exploration of Jewish Poetry. ‘Song of an Exile’ contains two interpretations of poems written by children who died in Auschwitz, and these form the beginning of a very significant chapter in Adrian’s work, as he seeks to give a voice to children who have lost their childhood. (press-release)

Bergen-Belsen

“Song of an exile” takes Jewish poetry through the centuries from Psalms to a poem by a girl trying to survive in the Warshaw ghetto during WO II and puts it to contemporary music. The result is an overwhelming journey through Jewish history, though rather through an emotional and spiritual perspective then a strictly historical.
“Song of an exile” shows a lot of empathy with a people which endured many struggles through the centuries.
Apart from that it is – in my opinion – a musical masterpiece. (J. vd Hoef)

I concur with J Vd Hoef. Some of the transitions between pieces are less than smooth, and Snell’s voice is more like a good musical actor than a great professional singer. The emotion he puts into singing these poems, though, is spot-on perfect. But the music–very well done and varied– provides the perfect space between some very powerful exile and labor-camp poems, and short pieces of Scripture. Prepare to be gripped. And, strangely, uplifted (I love collections that save the best for last!). This poetry needs to be remembered. (R. Miller)

I´m impressed, too  … a real important album !

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Personnel:
Paul Allen (bass)
Dave Bainbridge (guitar, keyboards, drum programming)
Debbie Bainbridge (oboe)
Paul Burgess (drums)
David Fitzgerald (ssaxophone, flute, flageolet, recorder)
Tim Hines (percussion)
Adrian Snell (keyboards, vocals)
Melanie Williams (vocals on 05. + 07.)
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background vocals:
Barrington Stewart – Vivienne Dixon – Melanie Williams

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Tracklist:
01. Roads To Zion 4.41
02. The Song Of An Exile (Shir Golah) 3.16
03. Lament For Jerusalem (How Deserted Lies The City) 6.10
04. Terezin 8.34
05. Fear
B2 Roads To Zion (Part 2)
B3 God’s Beloved
B4 If I Were

Music & lyrics by Adrian Snell

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LinerNotes

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