Pianist and Musical Director Dominic Ferris, best known to stage audiences as one half of West End musical theatre duo Ferris & Milnes, has been working with Dame Shirley Bassey since the start of the year on her new studio album, I Owe It All To You, which is released on Friday 6 November 2020 on Decca Records.
Dominic recorded the majority of piano tracks for Dame Shirley’s new album and also played the piano for her vocal rehearsals. Travel restrictions did not make for an easy recording process. Rehearsals took place in Monaco whilst orchestral recording sessions were split between London and Prague. Dame Shirley’s vocals were recorded in Italy and the album was assembled and mixed in the UK.
Dominic said: “We spent several days working through dozens of songs, only a handful of which would make the final record. These early rehearsal stages are crucial in any album-making process as it’s important that the artist is completely confident with the musical direction that the record is taking. Tempo, key, song structure and musical style are all important factors to decide upon in these early stages so that the framework and orchestrations of each track can be built. I have always been a fan of Dame Shirley and so to finally play for her was a wonderful experience. Accompanying Dame Shirley on the piano was a fascinating process; she gives so much information subconsciously through her body language and breath, which allows the musical relationship to really gel and become much more organic. Each time we ran through a number, she would perform it differently – the way she felt it at that point in time – so as an accompanist, one had to be focused and concentrate the entire time.”
Dame Shirley, 83, has sold almost 140 million records in a career that has spanned seven decades. She is the only artist ever to record three Bond themes and sees her new album as her “grand finale” and a way of saying “thank you” to her fans who have followed her for so many years. The album features a diverse track list including some never-before-heard covers along with some new original material.
I Owe It All To You is produced by Nick Patrick with whom Dominic Ferris has collaborated on several recording projects over the past few years including Michael Ball, Alfie Boe and the symphonic albums of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dominic is currently broadcasting a series of free Live Piano Request Shows from his home, including collaborations with Classic FM, Official London Theatre and Pianist Magazine. For more information, visit: http://www.dominicferris.com.