John Kenny

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Recordings

The Voice of the CarnyxThe Voice of the Carnyx Ref: A0273
This recording is the first in a series on the British Music Label representing a cross-section of my work as a performer and composer. An ancient and until recently neglected instrument, the trombone has been undergoing something of a renaissance in the past 40 years. John Cage wrote his Solo for Sliding Trombone in 1955 and Luciano Berio his Sequenza 5 in 1966. These pieces were the start of an explosion of composition for the trombone which has led to the possibility for trombonists to seriously contemplate careers as soloists. Even at the time I left the Royal Academy of Music in 1978 this was still considered a ridiculous idea. John Kenny
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More info & audio samples at www.creightonscollection.co.uk

Price: 12.00


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A Field of ScarecrowsA Field of Scarecrows Ref: A0274
A Field of Scarecrows is dedicated to the memory of the English composer Paul Keenan, who died in 2004. Paul and I had been friends for since we met in the Birmingham School Symphony Orchestra in 1972. Paul was an outstanding clarinettist but also a quite exceptional composer, who achieved his mature identity before the age of twenty, and then continued to work on a small number of exquisite and highly complex scores for the rest of his life. He never achieved - or sought - commercial success, and he died having heard only a small part of his music. The title track of this album was the last piece he wrote for me, and it is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and extraordinary pieces ever composed for trombone and piano. John Kenny
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The Marshall PlanThe Marshall Plan Ref: A0275
The Poetry of Grantly Marshall set to Music by John Kenny
I had known Grantly Marshall for many years as a dynamic and imaginative theatre producer before I discovered his alter ego as a poet. Until 1999 I would have described him as an adventurous entrepreneur with a passion for theatre, repeatedly taking hair raising risks to market contemporary music theatre at an international level. His enduring success in this notoriously cut-throat world betokens a gambler’s iron nerve coupled with the hardest of hard business noses - so when I received a volume of Grantly’s poems just in time for Christmas 1999, I was genuinely surprised: here was an entirely new and unsuspected side of a friend that I thought I knew reasonably well – and yet it suddenly explained so much that I had observed yet not fathomed, in particular his attitudes to creativity, and to his own native America. I have received a new volume in my Christmas post every year since, and it didn’t take long for Grantly and I to fall to talking about the relationship of music and poetry. This album is the fruit of those discussions.
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Forest ~ River ~ OceanForest ~ River ~ Ocean Ref: A0276
Performed by Yaggdrasil String Quartet, The Gathering, John Whiting
As soon as I began to work with John Creed's magnificent reconstruction of the Deskford Carnyx, all of us involved with the project realised that we were dealing with something quite extraordinary; a legendary 2,000 year old War Horn which had come to life, not only as a show-case replica, but also as a beautiful instrument with a unique voice, to speak afresh in the modern world. But more than this, the Carnyx is a key which can unlock possibilities far beyond its own potential, either as a musical instrument or an archaeological artifact - it is a potent symbol of regeneration and reconciliation, representing a common cultural heritage, which can touch and stimulate people of widely divergent race and creed. John Kenny
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Locking HornsLocking Horns Ref: A0277
Locking Horns is the title of Etienne Rolin’s duo for carnyx & soprano saxophone, and also the name we call ourselves when we perform as a duo. Etienne is a true polymath: composer, multi instrumental performer, painter, philosopher, equally at home in the worlds of jazz, baroque music, or the most extreme European avant garde. He has composed more music for me than any other composer, including a trombone sonata, trombone concerto, over thirty solo pieces, chamber works in almost every conceivable combination. However, from our very first meeting in Paris in 1984 we have always improvised together, and improvisation underpins this album of compositions, and structures for improvisation. We are joined by the percussionist / singer / actor Marc Depond. John Kenny
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More info & audio samples at www.creightonscollection.co.uk

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NomadNomad Ref: A0278
Polarity Percussion Ensemble - John Kenny - David Moss
NOMAD came about as the result of a long walk in the Black Forest with Palestinian / German percussionist Bassam Abdul Salam. We had been working together in Ensemble Modern, and Bassam was extremely excited by the reconstruction of the carnyx, and the idea that such an ancient object could be used for contemporary expression. As a member of an ancient but dispossessed people who face considerable obstacles to making their voice heard in any non violent medium, the concept of this ancient traveler through the human cultural landscape was very appealing. This is a live recording of the debut performance of Nomad: Bassam Abdul Salam leading the Polarity Percussion Ensemble of Freiburg, with the American free jazz singer David Moss, and myself on carnyx, trombone & voice. Also featured are giant metal sound sculptures which are struck, stroked and bowed to produce extraordinary, unearthly colours – I used the largest of these again in my music for the TNT Theater Co.’s production of Moby Dick, in which Bassam became the voice of a pod of whales! John Kenny
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More info & audio samples at www.creightonscollection.co.uk

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