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Fans of Renaissance and Annie Haslam

Please reply to this discussion with comments, observations, news clippings, etc regarding Michael Dunford's untimely passing. 

Official announcement:

Photo: Annie Haslam.

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Nov 26: update #8 of the Kickstarter project:

Dear Friends:

As you might imagine, the sudden loss of our dear friend and musical pillar of strength Michael Dunford has come as quite a shock to us all.

Michael had just finished signing the sheet music for our Kickstarter project and was gone within days. We are devastated.

Not a day will pass, nor a note of his music played that will not bring Michael to mind. We will be planning one or more benefit memorial concerts to help out Clare Dunford and sons William and Oliver.

Right now, we will pick ourselves up and carry on to finish the album and Kickstarter deliverables.

Love from Annie, Rave, Dave, Jason, Frank and Joe - Renaissance


The following quote says it all:

We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.  --Chuck Palahniuk

Nov 26: French journalist and radio man Luc Marianni announces a 2 hour radio show, tribute to  Betty Thatcher-Newsinger and Michael Dunford on idfm98, Friday the 7th of December 2012 from 20:00 to 22:00, time of Paris (2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, time of New-York). He will build the show with the help of Peter Timmerman's Top 25+.

An original article, by Ryan Reed, in Ultimate Classic Rock:

Remembering Michael Dunford and Renaissance.

I got the news last saturday.

Needless to say, I've been struck down and, still, I cannot believe it's true.

No chance to see him again and to hear new songs in the future. I've got tears in my eyes.

Previously unpublished interview of Michael from 2011:

A nice interview, with a nice introduction. I've learned things from them.

Tribute by Tom Brislin-- see his description at SoundCloud:

When I think of all times I'm sad

The feel of all we've lost

They were moments I remember

For all of my days - every way


EDIT 15-Dec-12: Tom has added a blog post about Michael to his web site:

Yes, I read this:

"Kindness" is written by Jon Camp, who sang the original version with Renaissance. This cover song was requested by Esa Ahola, the band's friend and frequent concert photographer. With the tragic passing of Renaissance guitarist and songwriter Michael Dunford, I recorded this in the spirit of tribute to his memory. I was fortunate to be a part of the group for two tours, and I will remember Michael and the joy his music brought to so many people.

(Tom Brislin)

Life is so so strange. I talked with Michael on Friday, the 16th of November and tried to reach him the morning of Monday, the 20th before flying back to NY. When I landed that evening I had a voicemail from Clare Dunford asking me to call "call at any hour". I knew something terrible had happened. I finally reached Clare and was speechless.. devastated when she gave me the news that he had suffered a massive stroke and was unconscious. How empty I became and my eyes welled up with tears. Life is fragile. It is difficult to comprehend that he is not at the other end of the phone when I call his home. I hope all will continue to support the band and Michael's legacy. Annie will carry the banner forward.

Dec 5: BBC news, in their "regular column covering the passing of significant - but lesser-reported - people of the past month":

The progressive rock band Renaissance never achieved the fame of peers such as Yes and King Crimson, but they had a strong following for their brand of sweeping symphonic music. Guitarist Michael Dunford was responsible for much of the writing and arranging during the band's most creative period. Albums such as Prologue and Ashes are Burning cemented the band's reputation and showcased Dunford's beautiful acoustic guitar playing. The album A Song for All Seasons contained a Top 10 single, Northern Lights, but changes in musical tastes, particularly the onset of punk, saw Renaissance struggling to stay together and the band split up. Dunford soldiered on with the band's charismatic singer Annie Haslam and a reformed Renaissance recorded and toured at the end of the 1990s. Before joining Renaissance, Dunford had cut his musical teeth with the 1960s pop group The Nashville Teens.

Nov 22: article in Prog Magazine:

Renaissance Guitarist Michael Dunford Dies.

BBC News made a link to this page, and quoted those words from Michael Dunford:

I saw the original band playing and immediately thought, what a great idea - the fusion of classical, rock, folk.

Dec 10: Annie Haslam on her fb page and on the Renaissance fb page:

Ave Maria for Michael 

Dear Renaissance Family
Nothing compares to the loss of 'our' Michael, a dear loving husband and a wonderful father.
The love he had for his family and friends was evident in all he did and the recent music he created.

On behalf of myself and the band members, Rave, Dave, Jason, Frank and Joe, I would like to say that the loss for us is also extremely great.
He was our leader and friend, we looked to him for guidance and he rewarded us with all that he was... with an impeccable work ethic work and great songwriting, always looking to break open new musical boundaries, while keeping true to the uniqueness of who we are!
My show on Saturday the 8th of December at the Towne Crier in Pawling NY with Rave Tesar and Jason Hart was originally meant to be my Christmas 'Holiday' concert. 
Instead we decided to pay tribute to a man that I can safely say was my best and closest friend in this lifetime.
During the first part of the evening, we performed six Renaissance songs that I know were some of his favorites.
There was no doubt in anyone's mind who came to that show, that Michael was with us all in 'spirit'.
My last dedication to him of the evening was my rendition of 'Ave Maria', he was there by my side in every breath I took and every note I sang.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of love you have shown his family, friends and band members.

Love Annie


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