World Tree is called 'Gnostic' folk/classical fusions where our music and songs, both ancient and modern are blended in a melting pot of traditional folk and classical music with rock, blues and Celtic influences. The music ranges from soft, ambient to excitement and rhythms with ethnic percussion. John (composition, guitars and virtual instruments) & Gretchen (voice, lyrics and melodies). We are joined by friends and excellent musicians...John Howitt supremem on bass and other guitars, Ade Powell (Djembe, other drums and percussion) and Pete Lowe (flute and soprano saxophone).
The band formed in 2005 as John and Gretchen had recorded their first album "Above & Below". The band was John, Gretchen and Phil Bellingham for a while. It has now become the line up you see above with JOhn, Ade and Pete and is now out on the road playing at concerts and festivals. John's Grandmother Nellie used to play for the silent movies before he was born and used to put him on her lap at the piano and played the backing themes for the movies. He first became conscious of the impact of music at 8 years old listening to the 1812 Overture on an old Dansette record player. The majesty and melody of this piece lifted him into a wonderland of sound and images. Her then went on to modern rock and various jazz-folk-rock fusions. In the 70s in London, he played in various bands and musical enterprises, including bass in Phil Collins 'holiday' band "Zox and the Radar Boys" in 1970. and then with his own progressive rock band "Voyage".
Gretchen can't remember a time when she did not sing. She has enjoyed treading the boards in musical comedy and theatre through out her life. As a teenager, her Mother owned a community theatre where she and her duaghter were on stage together. Later, Gretchen found herself as part owner of another theatre company in Mukilteo Washington. Most of my life has been spent in the Redmond area, which is just east of Seattle.
Concerts, music festivals, folk clubs and specific functions/musical events. We played this year at Hawkfest 2007 in Derbyshire and were mightily encouraged by a great audience reaction.
Ok - where do we start? Eclectic folk, rock, classical, poetry, story telling and world music scene? Quintessence, Caravan, Gong, Kevin Ayers, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Terry Riley, Moody Blues, Tchaikovski, Cole Porter, The Eagles, our good friend Adrian Wagner (Yes, and his great great Grandad!), Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Afro-Celts, Mannheim Steamroller, Black, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Peter Gabriel, Aimee Mann, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Loreena McKennitt, Byron, e.e. cummings, Clannad and Sarah McLachlan.
Guitars, keyboards/electronic FX, Djembes, Dubaracq, synthdrums, congas/bongos. Roland cubes and AC60's, pedals, usual microphones, boards, keyboards & 2 x laptops, QChord...
PA Systems 700W - Wharfedale & JBL spkrs, bass combo etc etc usual band stuff...
We're so pleased to have received some wonderful feedback from friends, other people and places. This is what helps keep us going ... thank you so much ...
Gretchen's version of "She Walks In Beauty" is exquisite and literally moved me to tears, making it one of my favourite songs on "Above and Below". "The Beast Within (Swallow Falls & The Afanc)" opens with and is laced throughout with a flute that Jethro Tull would envy and is accompanied by what sounds like a primal and well-traveled bodhran. Read the whole review at http://www.partyinkingston.com/music/reviews-worldtree.html
"Your music is beautiful!" Love, Mike S. The Waterboys.