Gaz Coombes
Gaz Coombes in full flow

EP of Gaz Coombes and Oxford musicians released

Matt Pickles
Just in time for Christmas...
An EP has been released of a collaboration between an internationally-known musician and students, professors and alumni of the Faculty of Music.
The EP is a live recording of Gaz Coombes' charity concert at the Sheldonian Theatre earlier this year. All proceeds from the record release will be donated to local charities.

The concert in May 2019 saw Gaz and his band perform a bespoke set with the 42-piece ‘Hot Fruit Orchestra’, made up of students, professors and alumni of the Oxford University Faculty of Music. The Hot Fruit Orchestra was a ‘scratch orchestra’ – none of the musicians had played together before.
Speaking of the collaboration, Gaz said: "It was such a seat of the pants performance on the night, but that's how I like it...that's when strange and magic things happen. We only had a couple of run throughs on the day with arranger Luke Lewis, the orchestra. I felt we were all playing on instinct, propelling each other forward. In that setting, with the lights and orchestra, It kind of felt like May."

The response from the players and the audience was equally as enthusiastic. Professor Gascia Ouzounian, who performed at the concert, said: "This was an extraordinary opportunity for students and staff from the Faculty of Music to play alongside Gaz Coombes, one of the world’s finest singer-songwriters, in the Sheldonian, an historic building, with gorgeous orchestral arrangements by composer Luke Lewis.
"The concert not only raised funds for two very worthwhile causes, but it did so in style: every person in the hall felt the power and beauty of Gaz’s music, which he played to perfection and which was taken to new heights through Luke’s imaginative arrangements. A memorable night."

DPhil student and performer Patrick Brennan said: "I really enjoyed the fusion that took place in the Sheldonian that evening - the chance to play my violin at an orchestral desk, but accompanied by guitars, drums, synthesisers, and of course Gaz Coombes’ sensational vocals."
The concert celebrated the 350th anniversary of the iconic Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Christopher Wren, and raised £7,500 for two local charities: The Young Women’s Music Project and Yellow Submarine. 

The venue was provided for free as part of the Sheldonian Theatre Curators' 350th Anniversary Community Engagement Scheme - a way of allowing the community and different groups of people to access the historic building. 
The Sheldonian Live EP, mixed by the Faculty of Music’s Studio Manager, Dan Hulme, gives audiences the chance to hear much loved songs with a new aesthetic. The EP is available to stream and download on all major digital platforms and is out on vinyl this Friday through Caroline International. 

Track listing for ‘Sheldonian Live EP’:
1) The Girl Who Fell To Earth (Sheldonian Live)
2) The Oaks (Sheldonian Live)
3) Walk The Walk (Sheldonian Live)
4) Slow Motion Life (Sheldonian Live)