Adrian Wagner - Composer, Artist, Producer and Inventor.

Biography.

The composer, artist, music producer and inventor, Adrian Wagner is the great-great grandson of the famous nineteenth-century Grail opera composer, Richard Wagner, whose popular master works include Lohengrin, Parsifal, Tannhauser and The Ring of the Nibelung.

Adrian was born in Kent, England, in 1952, and was educated at the Choir School, Canterbury and at Kings School, Canterbury. He was a Canterbury Cathedral chorister for 2 years. From the age of 15, Adrian also studied art and painting at the very well equipped Art School whilst at Kings. He also set up the photographic society at the Kings School. He studied musical composition and orchestration with his father, who was Director of the R.A.F. music division, and others such as Alan Ridout, Allan Wicks F.R.C.O. and for a short time with Paul Patterson, head of composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

His professional career began at the age of twenty when he worked with rock musicians and bands including Steamhammer, The Other Side, The Coming, Arthur Brown, Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, Alexis Korner, etc., performing at the Royal Albert Hall and other notable venues. He also worked alongside many artists, poets and actors; putting on exhibitions, festivals and theatre events involving the, so called, underground arts and cultural movement of the early '70s. This included performances with the Royal Academy of Music's 'Manson Ensemble', electronic music courses and streat theatre at the 'Cockpit Theatre', London. He also taught in an English language school and foundation courses at various art colleges in the South of England. At the closure of the Folkestone Art College, he and the poet, Karl Williams, created the successful two week festival of music and arts called 'Wake Up Folkestone' (WUF)! This was a remarkable period for Adrian and created the seeds for the projects he is so passionately involved with today. A term he coins for this 21st Century movement is 'New Renaissance'!

Adrian's early pioneering work with synthesizers started at the Royal Academy, where he learnt on one of the first EMS VCS3 synthesizers. He also ran the UK service operation for Bob Moog (famed for the legendary Moog Synthesizer) and helped EMS sell the very first synthesizers to music shops and musicians. He then progressed to invent, manufacture and market the most famous and highest-selling British synthesizer of the era - the Wasp (along with others such as the Gnat, Spider and Caterpillar). The Wasp, which sold in thousands, was the world's first battery-operated, portable, digital synthesizer and was immensely valued by musicians and producers worldwide.

Also in the 1970s, Adrian's studio involvement led him to study and work as a recording engineer with Adam Skeaping at the well-known Riverside Recordings in London. It was here that he successfully accomplished a number of film and TV scores including the children's feature film 'Detour' along with 'Knots' which won the Cannes Film Festival Award and 'Eclipse', also nominated for Cannes. He wrote music for two animation films, another Cannes Film Festival Award winner 'The Beard' and 'Mothership', together with an historic drama about the great Shakespearian actor, Edmund Keenes, called 'A Sun's Bright Child' for Thames Television. These led to numerous commissions, and also TV commercials such as Cadbury's Smash, Cadbury's Cup-a-Soup, Domestos, Polaroid 2000.

Additionally, he worked with the composer David Fanshawe on his 'Arabian Fantasy' and composed the music for Anthony Roland's educational arts film series, 'Western Arts through the Ages' which allowed him to bring together his understanding of art and artists. By the end of the 1970s, and under contract with Warner Bros., Adrian had released various commercial albums of his music: 'Distances between Us' (for Atlantic Records), 'Instincts' and 'The Last Inca' (for Charisma Records), a library album for KPM, 'Electronic Light Orchestra' and 'Disco Dream and the Androids' a spoof sci-fi disco album.

In the 1980s, Adrian composed the music for four BBC Panorama TV documentaries directed by Christopher Olgiati. They were 'Two Weeks in Winter' (with Francis Monkman), 'Silkwood', 'We Can Keep You Here Forever' and the renowned 'Mafia Wars'. He also wrote the 'Transworld Sport' title theme and worked on many other projects including shows for the Small World Theatre Company (an educational theatre group), with professional involvement in 'Shadows in the Desert', 'Ali's Dream', 'In the Shadow of the City', 'Moving', 'Captain Slaughterboard' and 'Greenhouse'. His own commercial albums of the eighties were 'Merak' (a space fantasy with a fifty-minute computer animated video), 'Inca Gold' (re-issue of the two Charisma albums, 'Karming the Elements' and 'Ambient Collection - Volume One' (Ambient Collection - Volume Two' has just been released!).

During this period, Adrian started his own music enterprise, The Music Suite, an album production company with a digital editing suite, sound restoration department and duplication plant. This facilitated album production for over 50 artists and groups and he was the producer for artists and groups such as Rob Parrett, Kangaroo Moon and Quimantu. The Music Suite was based in Cenarth, Wales, where Adrian and his wife, Helen, have lived for many years. He also created the 'Digital Effects Archive' for a CD dubbing jukebox for the BBC TV's central post production sound services.

In 1996, Adrian changed The Music Suite to a new company called MediaQuest, a multimedia, design layout facility, sound service organisation and digital film production studio. MediaQuest has become closely allied with Tourist Boards, mastering and issuing CD ROMs such as 'Welcome to Wales'' (for the Wales Tourist Board) and 'Digital Postcards from...' series (Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Devon & Cornwall, Cumbria and the Lake District etc.). These projects allowed him to photograph many heritage sites and formed the seeds of his later work with Sacred sites. In 1999 Adrian linked up once again with Christopher Olgiati to compose the music for a BBC TV documentary for the BBC about the life of Jimmy Hendrix.

In September 2001, Adrian was appointed a 'Fellow of Composition' (F.Comp.ASMC) by the 'Australian Society of Musicology and Composition'.

Unfortunately, in 2000, Adrian was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (he had it for 8 years before it was discovered!) with the results of the permanent side effects of severe neuropathy and retinopathy which has left him a little disabled. This has changed and turned around his life in many ways and he has had to find other methods and techniques in order to continue his work.

Recently, Adrian Wagner has been working on a project called 'Sacred Sites and Celtic Landscapes', using the enormous and unique digital archive of over 25,000 images photographed by Adrian over the past 6 years and, more recently, an ever growing digital film archive. Already there are new products being launched under the 'Sacred Sites and Celtic Landscapes' project with a greetings card series of fine art and photo cards. On this site all his art is represented in his new on-line fine art Galleries connected to his shop where all his art can now be purchased as prints. He has painted over 400 paintings over the past few years and his intention is to put on a combined exhibition show of his art and music in various galleries and art centres over the next few years alongside his films. A major contributor to 'Sacred Sites and Celtic Landscapes' film series is the International best-selling author John Sharkey, who's ground breaking book 'Celtic Mysteries' influenced him so much in the early '70s. John Sharkey is writing several of the film scripts for the 'Sacred Sites and Celtic Landscapes' films and MediaQuest will be releasing his new illustrated book in 2010 called 'Rays of Light.

His most recent albums have involved the Holy Grail Tradition with a release of musical suites, 'Holy Spirit and the Holy Grail', 'Genesis of the Grail' and 'Realm of the Ring'. He is now currently working on 'Realm of the Holy Grail - The Four Hallows - a Symphonic Oratorio' - a full scale choral and electronic work in four movements. The definitive studio version of 'Realm of the Holy Grail - The Four Hallows' will be released as a full length feature film and on CD in 2010.

Although his diabetes has slowed him down somewhat, other projects currently under production are an album of the film music of 'Rays of Light' which will be released in 2008 and a new artistic venture called 'Adrian Wagner Fine Arts and Music Enterprise' started in 2005.

A Project to produce a Symphonic Oratorio on Film

The Four Hallows by Adrian Wagner.

All Adrian Wagner CDs are now available through his eBay Shop called Adrian Wagner Fine Arts & Music Ent. at:-

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/AdrianWagnerFineArtsandMusic
 

Site design by Adrian Wagner. All material © Adrian Wagner 2007.