William Henshall started life in a ‘two up, two down’ terraced house on a cobbled street in an inner city area of Manchester. His family were relocated in the 1950s’ to a new house on an ‘overspill estate’ in the countryside, but his early years of urban living left an indelible mark on his memory and artistic motivation, forming the springboard of creativity for the majority of his work to date.
The release of Dark Opus, which was originally composed and recorded in 1983, opens Henshall’s work to a wider audience. Although he has a high profile in the world of comedy, under the name of Buzz Hawkins; little is known of Henshall’s extensive musical work.
Dark Opus was created as a sound score for a multimedia art work in collaboration with artist Graham Bowers. The completed work was taken further and formed the concept for a contemporary ballet entitled ‘Touch’ in collaboration with Scottish Dance Theatre. Other works in this genre include ‘Brief Encounter’, ‘Lila’, ‘Sarai’.
He has written and published many popular songs, several being hit singles for established artists in the UK, Europe, the Far East and the USA.
A double album, "attic tracks", containing his back catalogue of work has been recorded and released through the "Hawkins' Talkin" label under his other name of Billy Henshall.
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