In preparation for a meeting on 25 November 1996 with Michael Dunford, Malcolm Holmes of HTD Records wrote Northern Lights suggesting we e-mail some questions that the fans would like answers to. We're happy to say that Michael answered most of our questions and has agreed to his responses being posted here.
Northern Lights: The latest version of the history exposed two mysteries that we'd like to try to resolve. First, what went on in the period between the spring of 1971 and spring of 1972 -- writing, rehearsing and recording Prologue of course, but what else did the band do to stay solvent? Second, who played guitar on the Prologue tour as Rob Hendrey is said to have departed after the album was released and Michael Dunford is said to have been writing the songs for Ashes Are Burning (and consequently didn't tour) -- what happened?
Michael Dunford: We spent this time touring just about everywhere. The guitarist who played? I'm not sure but think it was a guy called Peter Finer.
Many fans have written asking about the Scheherazade musical and we've tried for the longest time to get the actual status of the project. There were some press clippings in 1995 (from Cornwall and Betty Thatcher-related) that sounded hopeful but again it has all gone quiet. Are you able to comment on the progress of the project and is there any chance that any of the demo material that was recorded might find its way to at least a limited release.
Michael Dunford: The Scheherazade musical project is still underway and we are involved with constant workshops up until the spring of next year when things should start developing more.
Can you comment on any future recording prospects with Stephanie Adlington? The fan community that writes us appears to be split with some wanting more and others crying "never again." Stephanie has corresponded a little with us but most of her recent e-mail dealt with the imagery we have in on our web site gallery. Is there a future for Stephanie in the musical or Renaissance?
After the meeting today with HTD Records we will be doing two new albums, one for release in February 97 and the other in September 97. Both albums will be acoustic with Stephanie and myself and various other musicians. Both albums will have new acoustic versions of Renaissance tracks from Ashes Are Burning, Turn Of The Cards and Scheherazade as well as a few new tracks.
Many fans have migrated and/or filled in their Renaissance collection onto CD, and some have worked very hard to find the reissues. I've met a handful that had never heard about Camera Camera and Time-Line, thinking it was over after Azure d'Or. And now, since the release of Da Capo many of the fans are anxious to have a release of rare Renaissance and/or Acoustic Renaissance tracks and we frequently get asked if we know if the songs: "Island Of Avalon," "Writers Wronged," "Communication," "No Beginning No End," "Northern Lights" (1988 Version), "The Animals Are Back," "You" and the Nevada singles "In The Bleak Midwinter," "Pictures In The Fire," "You Know I Like It" and "Once In A Lifetime" could all be included in a rarities release.
The working title for the rarities album is Songs Of Renaissance Days . Most of these songs will be on it plus a few more not listed here.
There are stories circulating in the US fan community about potential future collaborations of Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford, principally originating out of Renaissance Records (who seem to be a lot of talk with little action). From one source or another these stories seem to arise every year around the festive season only to be completely eradicated by the summertime. We are aware that a re-mixing session for the Renaissance Live at the Royal Albert Hall album is planned for the first week in December in America. But will there be any work on the rare tracks or any new tracks put down? The fans seem to be screaming for some more releases. Is there any chance of collaboration with Sullivan and Tout?
Annie and myself are working on the [Renaissance] King Biscuit Album Live At The Royal Albert Hall with remixing, etc. There are no plans for a collaboration involving Sullivan and Tout.
One of the most frequent questions we get is: where is Jon Camp?
Sorry, I don't know.
Northern Lights would like to thank Malcolm Holmes his help in this "interview" and Michael Dunford for taking the time to respond to questions for Renaissance fans visiting us here on the world wide web.