John Holden

John Holden is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from Cheshire, England.

‘I have had a strong emotional connection to music for as long as I can remember. In particular, at an early age, I encountered progressive rock. I enjoy music that can at times be pastoral and melodic, sometimes powerful and soaring but always constantly interesting. The idea that there are no rules or boundaries has always appealed to me.’

Having played and composed for many years, John made the decision to commit to creating a full album of original material. He decided that involving additional musicians would significantly enhance the music and his debut album, Capture Light was released in 2018.

‘I have been amazed and thrilled by the talented musicians I have managed to work with. Everyone made a fantastic contribution. When you are working with people of such high calibre it really elevates the music and definitely makes you raise your game!’

Commenting on been placed Runner Up in the Progzilla Radio 2018 Album of the Year’;

‘I wanted to see if I could make music that would earn its place in the genre. Thankfully the album was critically well received and given extremely good reviews. It was so exciting to get such amazing feedback from the people who count the most – the wider prog audience!’

John’s much-anticipated follow up album, Rise and Fall was released in 2020.

‘I gained a lot of experience creating the first album and was determined the next one had to maintain that quality but am delighted to say it exceeded my expectations. Progressive music by its nature can be quite technical, however I wanted to build more emotion into the songs; it takes the music to a higher level and hopefully that feeling communicates to the listener.’

2021 sees John deliver Circles in Time comprising six lovingly crafted pieces.

‘I was keen to maintain momentum and commenced writing new music immediately after the release of Rise and Fall. With the enforced lockdowns in 2020 I found that I could devote so much more time to creating! My original intention was to have a release ready for late 2021, however all the work was completed far more quickly than expected.’

In typical Holden fashion, the style and content of the new music is not standing still.

‘With the new music I wanted to explore different avenues. There are many diverse elements with each song having a specific identity; rock, folk, jazz, flamenco and classical all play their part. I also wanted to stretch myself by attempting different styles and arrangements.’

Does the twenty-minute track, KV62 indicate a future direction?

‘That remains to be seen. I did not intend to write such a lengthy piece, but the music grew as necessary to tell the story. I also knew that I wanted to do a full orchestration. It was a challenge and even though it took me months I really enjoyed the process and the end results. I think the subject matter dictates the approach. If I can say what is needed in five minutes that’s fine. However, I now feel I have the capability to compose longer form music. So, we shall see’

With great critical acclaim for his music John is attracting and an ever-increasing audience; how does he reflect on the journey so far?

‘It has certainly been an adventure! I have been told that the music sounds like a labour of love, that is absolutely true and how it should be. The response to the albums has been amazing, I am very proud of the music and overjoyed that others seem to enjoy it too.’

"Music has always been my passion; I love the way it can take you on a journey and fire the imagination."