Michaela Betts
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Michaela Betts

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The best kept secret in music


"TheGhostOrchestra: New Songs of Love and Loss"

TheGhostOrchestra is so named because it represents all the musicians, normally left in the background, who go towards making a successful piece of music.

Three of its members, acting as ambassadors for the 14 piece ensemble, performed the world premiere of 'New Songs of Love and Loss'. They were: singer and arranger, Michaela Betts; pianist and arranger, Ruth Chan and composer/writer/arranger, Des Burkinshaw.

The songs were all new with the exception of a few from TheGhostOrchestra's debut album which were woven into the theme. The singing was performed to a backdrop of slides which provided thoughtful and often amusing little interludes related to each on-coming group of songs. The format initially created an eccentric impression but its context and function gradually became apparent and indeed attractive.

The venue was small and therefore intimate which suited the style of the performance. After a somewhat nervous start the show became captivating. Burkinshaw's songs were melodic. Their lyrics were clever and the imagery strong, appealing and often poetic.

Michaela Betts should be on the West End stage. She possesses a clear sweet voice with such clean diction that not a lyric was lost. During the performance she showed the real ability to interpret and convey the sentiment of what she was singing. This helped to captivate an initially lukewarm audience.

Full marks must go to Ruth Chan who sat behind a somewhat wonky-looking piano, typical of those at Fringe venues, with her foot resting on a pile of brochures under the pedal and was still able to make it produce the goods.

All three of last night's performers have prestigious musical CVs behind them in terms of performance/composition and so it is unsurprising that this particular presentation turned out to be so good.
- Edinburgh Guide

"The Ghost Orchestra - New Songs of Love and Loss"

Des Burkinshaw is obviously happier as the puppeteer rather than a performer, playing keyboards and guitar mostly from the mixing desk while the orchestra - consisting of vocals and piano - presents his work.
Burkinshaw has no reason to be shy, though, as his songs are smartly written, albeit in a kind of Kate Bush meets West End musical sort of way, and the accompanying films are witty and entertaining.
Michaela Betts's open-hearted singing brings out both the emotional intensity of Burkinshaw's writing as well as his wryly humorous side - The Herald


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Michaela Betts is a singer, songwriter, musician and vocal coach based in London. She writes her own material and plays live and collaborates with composers, producers and songwriters in the hub of a buzzing collective of twenty and thirty-something talent. She is a member of the rock band 'Azusa', the musical collective 'theghostorchestra' and the dance music outfit 'Mike White Presents'. She is an experienced session singer with a vast array of film, TV and game credits, including the feature film'Slipstream' starring Sean Astin and Vinnie Jones, 'Teknolust' starring Tilda Swinton, the new 'Just Cause' game title from Eidos, and Coca-Cola's 'The Future' advertising campaign. Drawing on a wide range of influences, her vocal style ranges from classical arias to musical theatre, pop and dance. Her own writing style has been described as 'Avant-Garde Pop' mixing flowing piano ballads with contemporary electronica.