Duotone (the alias of multi-instrumentalist Barney Morse-Brown) is an alchemist, weaving a plethora of instruments – his pioneering, unconventional cello playing and masterful use of a looper – into a blanket of intimacy.
Barney learnt the cello age six, then went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and to win a scholarship in baroque cello at the Royal College of Music. He has since worked with many high-profile musicians, including Maya Youssef, The Imagined Village, and multi-platinum-award-winning artist Birdy, with whom he toured all over the world. His albums include Ropes, Work Harder and One Day You'll Find Her, Let’s Get Low, and A Life Reappearing.
"After our work session for the project," he says, "I left thinking about how there might be worlds all around us, a parallel universe if you will. A fairy world that you know is only there out of the corner of your eye and vanishes when you try to look straight at it. I’ve always been tuned into the otherworldly, there are times when I write that I find myself entering an otherworldly state of mind, zoning out and diving into another world for a moment. Allowing the song to envelop me. When it came to writing ‘Parallel Worlds’ for the project, I remember slipping very quickly into a new world and finding that one hour later I had what I felt to be a musical representation of a parallel universe. Sounds a bit nuts writing this down but I guess that’s the only way I can describe it!"
The music from Barney's cello has woven its way through many of the songs and stories in this project, creating a thread of magic to bind our far-flung ideas together. In his own compositions, he evokes those hidden, half-glimpsed places where the human and fairy worlds meet – exploring the journey into Otherworld and back as a reflection of the artist's journey into the mysterious process of creation.