2016 has been quite a year for Wales recording artist and TV presenter Aled Jones MBE. His new album One Voice at Christmas has just reached Number One in the Classical Music Charts. It’s his second classical number one album of 2016, following One Voice, which reached number one back in the spring.
“This year has been phenomenal,” Aled recently told Andy Howells, “I can’t imagine many years in the future been like this, it’s one of those pinch myself moments”
In a recording career that stretches back to 1984 when he was just 13, Aled has released no less than 32 albums. His most recent albums have broken new ground for him in that they feature a recording first through the magic of audio technology enabling him to sing alongside his younger self.
One Voice at Christmas opens with a new version of Aled’s most famous hit, Walking in The Air from The Snowman which combines both voices of Aled, man and boy. “We went into the studio and tried it out and after a few moments we knew it was going to work,” says Aled, “The feeling and emotion that I had as a kid was back as an adult, it was very moving for me. Howard Blake who wrote it thinks it’s the most definitive version ever.”
The album features other significant tracks for Aled including an acoustic rendition of Silent Night featuring classical guitarist John Williams and a new carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear composed by Howard Goodall (who composed the theme to The Vicar of Dibley) especially for the album.
One Voice at Christmas closes with a recording Aled made with the late Sir Terry Wogan back in 2008 of the David Bowie/ Bing Crosby classic Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth. “Recording with Terry was such an incredible experience” reveals Aled, he was a mentor to me, someone I loved dearly. It was Terry who said to me, when I was about 18, “spread yourself as thinly as possible because it makes it more difficult for people to get rid of you,” so that’s what I’ve done.”
Taking Terry’s advice, Aled has added many strings to his bow. In recent times, he has been heard regularly presenting shows on both Classic FM and Radio Wales as well as presenting on the ITV chat show, Weekend. “Balance and variety is what keeps it going,” he says.
Following some live dates to tie in with One Voice at Christmas, Aled will be touring next year at home and abroad. There will also be some live dates in Wales “I’ll never forget my career started in Cardiff’s St David’s Hall,” he says, “for the rest of my life the hall will always mean the world to me”
One Voice at Christmas by Aled Jones is available now.