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about michael

baby michael

Michael Collins (son of a piano- and accordion-playing Irish expatriate, Louis Collins, who married Patricia, a Lancashire lass who 'sang like a bird') began as a musician in Burnley, an industrial town in the North East of Lancashire most famous for its cotton mills.

burnley

"As a child, I played maraccas and sang along while my parents played and sang all kinds of popular songs - Irish and Scottish, pop and standards, Latin-American, and lots of French accordion music!"

ballybunion

At 12 years old, Michael was inspired to learn the guitar after sitting at the feet of Flamenco guitarist Pepe Martinez at a private party in Bolton.

pepe martinez

During his early teens, Michael started out playing folk music and folk-blues before discovering R & B, Stax and Motown.

whole lotta love

Aged 16, Michael started work in Burnley's cotton mills while playing guitar in clubs and dancehalls at weekends in 'covers' band "The Atlantics".

By the age of 19, Michael was playing full-time throughout the UK with the band, typically supporting top soul acts from the US such as Stevie Wonder, Eddie Floyd, and James & Bobby Purify.

guitar collection

In his 20's, Michael played lots of country music, rock 'n' roll, reggae, rock, soul, jazz, funk, some classical music – and learned to play bass guitar and keyboards.

After moving to London in his 30's, Michael started recording professionally, playing guitar and writing songs such as "Ride The Love Train", "Famous Faces" and " No.1 Girl", with Brit-funk band "Light of the World".

michael

Michael also produced a timeless electronic 'dance' classic, "Rude Movements" by Sun Palace, that is played in clubs all over the world to this day.

"I made music almost exclusively using synthesizers, samplers and computers from the mid-80's and throughout the 90's when these were new and fashionable."

studios

"But I never forgot my love of acoustic instruments! When my father gave me his banjos, piano-accordions and pedal harp as he stopped playing these due to his advancing years, I decided to learn to play all these myself. Later, I acquired a mandolin, a mandolin-banjo, a Cuban Tres and two ukuleles."

michael guitars

"Now, after meeting Aurora and recognizing her similar wide-ranging interests in music, I have come full circle - developing new repertoire using all these instruments and returning to 'live' performance together with Aurora."




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Michael & Aurora © 2010


about aurora

baby aurora

Aurora Colson (daughter of drummer Daniel Colson and his wife Jacqueline) developed her passion for music as a child living in Neuves-Maisons, a small industrial town in the North East of France, where Daniel was employed in the steel mill.

neuves-maisons

"I was always interested in music while I was growing up - singing all the time, playing a little keyboard as a pre-teen, grabbing opportunities to play my Dad’s drumkit when I was a teenager."

tambourine

"I also discovered the old songs by Charles Trenet, Maurice Chevalier, Edith Piaf and others that my grandparents were playing on their radios – I just loved these."

charles Trenet

Aurora learned to play some guitar in her early 20’s to accompany herself while singing and writing songs. Later, she got a keyboard, an electric guitar, an Apple computer with Cubase - and started writing songs more seriously.

A creative collaboration with Italian keyboard-player/producer Federico Conti resulted in two albums of electronic dance music under the name "La Boutique".

fed conti

'Live' performance was also important, so, from 2005 onwards, Aurora found several opportunities to sing with bands such as rock/pop group "The Poachers".

pachers

In 2008, Aurora formed a duo with pianist Kate Batchelor, playing a mix of pop standards and French songs. "Although I sang in English at first, later I included French songs, which the audiences loved."

aurora and kate

In 2010, Aurora established her musical/creative partnership with Michael. "When I met Michael, we discovered our shared interest in the French songs that we both knew from our childhood days. We also found common interests in an amazingly wide range of music of all genres from all over the world!"

aurora studio

With Michael's encouragement, Aurora is becoming something of a multi-instrumentalist herself - playing rhythm guitar, basic keyboard, hand drums and percussion, drumkit, and, most recently, the ukulele!

"Despite the fact that Michael and I both use the latest computer and music technologies, we met at a time when we both wanted to perform music in an honest, natural way - using real instruments rather than sampled or synthesized instruments."

aurora studio

"Now, we are working hard to establish our true personal and musical identities as performers and artists, playing and singing together using our acoustic instruments and voices."

aurora colson