Friday, 25 September 2009

Sonalyst in Neath Port Talbot

Neath Port Talbot has become the base of the world renowned sound, lighting and video company, Sonalyst.

The company is owned and managed by Port Talbot born Rory Madden, a sound engineer with over 30 years experience.

Over the years Rory has toured with some of the world's top entertainers - Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross to name just a few. Rory's CV looks like a who's who of showbiz, to which he also includes some of history's mega music events including the 'Free Nelson Mandella' concert at Wembley, Live Aid Philadelphia, Amnesty International, Prince's Trust and the Brit Awards.

Now based on Baglan Industrial Estate, the company was started five years ago and was initially based in London where it grew at a rapid pace, designing and providing sound equipment for some of the largest and most successful touring shows in recent years.

Identifying a gap in the market Rory saw the potential of a company providing first class lighting as well as sound, and immediately diversified the company to include both light and sound production for these high profile shows.

Rory had to look no further than Port Talbot for someone to head up the highly complex lighting side of the business. Lighting engineer Mike Heggett has brought with him a wealth of experience working on TV's Gladiators, Crystal Maze and headlining acts such as Elaine Paige and Status Quo.

Although London provided a central location to a number of productions and tours Rory knew that he wanted Port Talbot to be the long term home of Sonalyst. Rory said "I am a Port Talbot boy at heart and no matter where I work in the world, this is still home".

"I was determined to locate in Port Talbot and set up the company base here. I am very grateful for the continuing help I have received from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. I received backing from switched on people and this has made our relocation much easier."

Adding another 35 years experience to the Port Talbot born team is Adrian Fitzpatrick. Working together, engineers at Sonalyst have the experience and capability to design sound and lighting for the likes of Little Britain, Ricky Gervais, The Mighty Boosh, Rob Brydon and Bill Bailey.

More recently Sonalyst have completed the Strictly Come Dancing tour and touring the Torvil and Dean 25th Anniversary of Bolero in Dancing on Ice.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Ali Thomas, said "Having companies like Sonalyst based within Neath Port Talbot is confirmation of the amount of home grown talent we have in the county borough.

"The Council is committed to supporting local companies and in these difficult times it is a pleasure to witness such success."

Looking ahead to future projects, Sonalyst have been successful in securing a contract to provide lighting for 12 world title boxing fights in the UK with Sky Sports (BSkyB), and will continue to work with touring productions and some of the biggest names in showbiz both in the UK and overseas.


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