Andrew Wasylyk @ Gardyne Theatre, Dundee, 31 Jan

Kinbrae set the scene for an evening of atmospheric sounds and freeform soundscapes inspired by the North Sea Coast as Andrew Wasylyk premieres his latest album, The Paralian

Live Review by Amy Kenyon | 05 Feb 2019
  • Andrew Wasylyk

The audience is still filtering into the packed auditorium as the lights dim and twin brothers Andrew and Michael Truscott take to the stage as Kinbrae. Andrew stands orchestrating a range of different sounds from behind a desk littered with a complex tangle of cables; the sound at first discombobulating, before it begins to take shape. The muffled sound of the cornet washes over the audience like waves crashing against a cliff face, evoking different images that are twisted and bent out of shape to the imagination as the pair build layer upon layer of sound, achieving a kind of musical poeticism. The set is an exercise in experimentation and is truly fascinating to watch, setting the scene for an evening of atmospheric sounds and freeform soundscapes inspired by the North Sea Coast.

Celebrating the release of his latest album The Paralian, Andrew Mitchell, aka Andrew Wasylyk, appears on stage and is momentarily lost amid a sea of musicians responsible for bringing his body of work to life against a backdrop of images which both complement and augment the sound. The eight-piece band create impressionist seascapes, where each instrument is explored to its greatest potential.

Mitchell affords the audience a unique insight into the creative process and the stories behind each composition, explaining that he'd been commissioned by Hospitalfield in Arbroath to produce a piece for its restored 19th century Grecian harp and how this project inspired The Paralian. Each song is prefaced and explained and the listening experience made all the more meaningful as a result.

An affable compere for the evening, Mitchell artfully guides the audience through the set appearing genuinely humbled by the opportunity to perform for a home crowd. Although his latest work was inspired by the North Sea Coast, he reminds us that his roots are firmly entrenched in Dundee and its cultural heritage as he performs Lower Dens Works from Themes for Buildings and Spaces, and Flight of the Cormorant, a nod in the direction of Dundee Bard Michael Marra and his song Flight of the Heron. After tonight’s successful debut of The Paralian, it's unsurprising that Andrew Wasylyk’s name is being used in the same breath as the late Scottish singer-songwriter.