Sunday 30 October 2011

So, what's up Doc?

Life is busy, but full of fascinating projects: in addition to my very full schedule of teaching at Guildhall in London, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh I am continuing work on a research project with fellow members of La Banda Europa into the relationship of language patterns and musical style and articulation. This took me in August to Slovakia to spend a week with the bagpiper maker and fujara player Ujaj Dufek, and to Bordeaux in September to work with the vielle a roue master Pascal Lefeuvre in September. Both meetings were stimulating and form the basis of future performing collaborations – the next stages will see me working with Armenian Duduk, Zurna, Clarinet and Dahul player Vahe Hovanesian and Roma trumpeter Bojan Petrovic.

Trio d’ART is about to release a short documentary film, shot at the Michael Tippet Centre in Bath during a recording session in July – this will be available for viewing on the Carnyx & Co website shortly (watch this space!), and the sackbut/trombone trio Pandora’s Box (Emily White, Miguel Tantos and myself) will shortly appear as part of the Carnyx & Co project portfolio.

On October 11th the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland hosted a wonderful performance lecture given by Clarence Adoo and Rolf Gelhaar, demonstrating the potential of the Head=Space instrument and setting out our vision, hopes and aspirations for the future. The Opera Studio was packed to capacity, and we even had to turn folk away – the audience included musicians, specialists in the field of spinal injuries, scientists, and organisations and individuals already deeply involved in developing artistic projects for a huge spectrum disablement. HeadSpace Ensemble is living proof of the power of music, given the right tools, to “level the playing field” between disabled and able bodied performers. In addition  to hoping to generate future performances with Clarence and the Head=Space instrument Rolf needs to carry on his development of this wonderful virtual instrument, and we need to find a way to make it available “over the counter” to an international market at a price within reach of a normal domestic pocket. This conference was a tremendous leg-up, and thanks to all at RCS who made it a reality!

Anyone interested in photography might like to take a closer look at the new shots of Pandora’s Box, Carnyx Brass, Emily White and myself on the sleeve booklets of our duo album Secret House (to be released shortly on the Brass Classics Label) and myself playing the carnyx, because all have been taken by the Edinburgh based photographer and sound designer Hugh Beauchamp – I love his work, and anyone who wants to look deeper should go to his website:

For friends and colleagues close to home in Scotland, if you’re free on Sunday 13th November it would be lovely to see you at the Reid Concert Hall at 6pm, when Martin Parker and I are doing a recital featuring a new piece with the wonderfully irreverent title “Grunt Count” for trombone and interactive computer program. Martin and I met up as members of Stephen Deazley’s “Music in the Brewhouse” project, and have been developing duo ideas for some time now, but this is our first official outing as a duo. All welcome!!

So here’s a flavour of the next few months, more details to follow:

Forthcoming Events:

Sunday November 6th, 2011 - 7pm

10th Birthday Event & First Concert in the Norwich 12 Series
Chamber Orchestra Anglia Artists

Paul Archibald Trumpet
John Kenny Trombone
Simon Limbrick Percussion
Anonymous Benedictus Domino (8th Century)
John Kenny Fanfare for Headspace
Trad. arr. Limbrick Sumanya
Raul Tudon Toledo Play of Shadows for solo marimba
Trad. arr. Limbrick Awo-Awo
Howard Skempton Arcade for solo drum
Anthony Holborne Three Dances

The Soldier's Tale Stravinsky
Sharon Andrea Choa Conductor
Simon Smith Leader
Nigel Rees Narrator
Narrated by Nigel Rees, presenter of Radio 4's Quote...Unquote

Thursday November 10th, 7.30pm, Newport Riverfront Theatre, Wales:

Final performance of the award the Music Theatre Wales award winning production of the chamber opera“Greek” by Mark Anthony Turnage. For details, contact:

Music Theatre Wales

Pascoe House
54 Bute Street
Cardiff CF10 5AF Tel: 029 2049 8471
General Enquiries:

November 12th, 7 to 8pm

School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU, United Kingdom.
An evening of new music theatre works developed by students in collaboration with John Kenny during a week long series of workshops.

Sunday 13th November 6pm
Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square
John Kenny and Martin Parker perform works for trombone, carnyx and electronics including the premiere of the trombone version of GruntCount by Martin Parker, Leo Dreaming by John Maxwell-Geddes, and The Voice of the Carnyx by John Kenny.
The performance is part of the Soundings Festival;

In 2012:

Friday February 3rd, Soundings Festival, The Atrium, Edinburgh University

John Kenny, trombones, George Nicholson, synthesised piano, Martin Parker, sound projectionGeorge Nicholson: Dedans, Gerard Pape: Makbenach IV, plus new works by Vivian Barty Taylor and Martin Parker.

February 9 to 12: Performance, masterclass and workshops at the Conservatoire Real, Madrid, Spain.

February 17 to 19: Trio d’ART in residence at the Newark Brass Festival

February 27 to March 2: Recital, symposium and masterclass at the Wroclaw Conservatoire, Poland.

Wednesday March 7th, Byre Theatre St. Andrew’s:  “Robinson” a poem by acclaimed Scottish poet, Brian Johnstone with music composed by Richard Ingham. Accompanied by the Jazz Studio directed by Richard Ingham, with special guests Colin Steele (trumpet) and John Kenny (trombone).

July 4 & 5, Paris International Trombone Festival: John Kenny & Jean-Luc Menet perform music for trombone, carnyx and flute/alto flute, by Etienne Rolin and John Kenny.

July 6 & 7, City of London Festival: John Kenny directs the HeadSpace Ensemble with Clarence Adoo, in a newly commissioned work by Nigel Osborne.

July 9 to 15, Paris: John Kenny & Gerard Pape developing material for an electro acoustic music theatre work to be premiered in 2013, in collaboration with bass clarinettist Harry Sparnaay.

Best wishes to all our readers!

John Kenny