Something Like That…

My new group Emanata has today released its first EP, ‘Something Like That’, on Love Buzz Recordings. You can check it out below. If you like it, please download it and share it with your friends, family, grandmas, farmyard animals and various household domestic appliances.

Emanata début

It’s finally here! My project Emanata is finally seeing the light of day! Our début EP ‘Something Like That…’ will be released on Monday 24th February on Love Buzz Recordings. This EP has been in the works for quite some time, and features input from some incredibly talented musicians, from groups including AZEDIA, Ruby & The Vines, Polaroid 85, The Fenchurch 3io and Invisible Soul Assassins. I’m very proud to be spearheading this amazing project. In the meantime, here’s the music video to ‘Keep Off The Grass’, performed by Ana Mrdjanov and filmed by Ben Rider:

Auf wiedersehen, Pet

A very merry festive greeting to you from South-West Germany, where it is neither snowing nor frosty. In fact, it feels rather similar to London. IN FACT, the last couple of times that I had the fortune of visiting Paris, it rained and rained and rained. There is a weather conspiracy going on. I suggest that we wipe from global consciousness the idea that the UK is a miserable place with miserable weather. We are not alone with our slate skies and soggy socks. But this is a subject for a different blog, a different blogger and another time. Back to business.

The run up to Christmas has reigned upon me one of the busiest times of my life, proving both immensely satisfying and tear-provokingly stressful. However, I have survived and am here to tell the tale to you, faithful reader.

Firstly, it should be noted that new pages now exist on this very website, notably, those of groups The Guastalla Quartet and Emanata. I am very excited to finally be getting these groups out into the public eye. The Guastalla Quartet takes the place of The Park Quartet as my active string quartet, with a fresh line-up and renewed enthusiasm. We are slowly working through our to-do list on the path to global domination: coming soon to a billboard, TV screen, airport advertisement or milk carton near you. Emanata is an entirely different kettle of fish. With a sound fusing jazz, hip-hop, electronica, world music and other things, we are based in the recording studio, capturing the group improvisation and discovery. I am very excited to releasing our first EP on Love Buzz Recordings in a few weeks. We’ve even got superhero alter-egos to go with the music (Emanata is a comic-book term… Google it!). Head over to the dedicated pages in the ‘groups‘ section to find out more.

Emanata in the studioThe Guastalla Quartet

Another new project that is just about to hit the shelves of your local internet supermarket is ‘Project Avartan’. I’ve teamed up with Indian musicians Rekesh Chauhan and Alok Verma, both powerhouse musicians of impressive repute, to create an unusual new group fusing classical, Indian, jazz and electronic music. We’ve been into the recording studio twice already to record a few demo tunes, which will be released soon. Look out for the soaring vocals of Andri Antoniou featured on one track. Check out our trailer below:

To sum up some smaller bits of exciting news… In November I went into the studio with Greek composer Othon Mataragas to record the solo violin for a track from his forthcoming album ‘Pineal’; keep an eye out for this – it’s going to be worth a listen. We good folks at Polaroid 85 are very pleased to be working not only with record label Reel Me Records, but also with agency Wormfood; 2014 is going to see a massive shake-up in the Polaroid 85 world – watch this space. Good friends of mine, AZEDIA, have just released a new album. If you like electronic music, this is a must – check it out here. Lastly, my jazz quartet were delighted to be invited to play at the Swing Unlimited Jazz Club in Bournemouth recently. We had a great time, quartet and audience alike. We were also very chuffed to see our poster sitting just above another one featuring the Alec Dankworth Trio – jazz royalty! We shall hopefully be back at the SUJC in 2014.

John Garner Quartet at SUJCP85 live in Hackney

And so, all that is left for me to say is fröhliche weihnachten. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, and a smashing New Year. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life this year; it has been a great one. Bring on 2014!

September Rain

Let us today be joyful for the abundant gift of water that pours down upon the Megalopolis of London. Let us not complain about the rain that so many would readily give everything for. Happy September!

I’ve been away in the Styx (also known as the Black Forest) which is a stunning place. I thoroughly recommend you be brave and head in a Bavarian direction. Get on your dirndl and sally on over. Back here in England-land, there have been a couple of exciting releases which I’d like to share with you kind folks.

My good friends AZEDIA recently released a live video of their song ‘Something’, which I was very privileged to be involved in. Take a peak here:

Slightly further along the musical spectrum, we find the very talented Miss Lucy Claire, a London-based composer, releasing a new EP on which I did a little fiddling. ‘Suite’ is a gentle fusion of electronica and classical music, creating a powerful, ethereal atmosphere and a thoroughly engrossing listen. Check out the new EP here.

On a sour final note, my stolen electric violin and bows are still out there. Stay vigilant. Please.

Apocalypse now?

Congratulations on beating the end of the world. Here’s a dubstep requiem by AZEDIA (released at midnight) on which I am playing solo violin. It’s a corker alright!

Busy sessioning

Merry December! We’ve made it through another year and now the festive season is upon us. Remember, it’s not presents that people want, it’s your presence (but I definitely want your presents). And with that baloney over and done with, here’s a hopefully-not-too-dull recounting of my busy weekend.

On Saturday I joined Neeta Sarl, Rita Morar, Steve Barnegren, Ana Vranes, Jenny Grib and Sam Ryan in performances of some original tunes and cover tunes to be released early next year. We were lucky enough to be able to record in the incredibly beautiful, slightly creepy, Caroline Gardens Chapel in Southeast London. The videos will look fab and it was a lot of fun, but if you ever record there in the winter, take a radiator or five (or do as we did and take plenty of wine).

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of recording with the talented Messeurs Toby Nelms, Jamie Kenny and Dan Day prior to our private concert on Tuesday. We recorded quite a few jazz standards including tunes by Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhardt and John Coltrane. Releases from this session will appear in 2013 on Love Buzz recordings. Keep your eyes open for these guys.

Finally (I promise), I was lucky to get the chance to play with the live dubstep band AZEDIA a couple of weeks back in a live session at Dean St. Studios in Soho, London. Keep your eyes open for a new video from them on January 1st, 2013. It’s a smashing track and makes for a really exciting live performance. They’re ones to watch for the future.

Next week I’ll be in the studio with Polaroid 85 (at Paul Epworth’s studio hurray!), composer Lucy Thornton and the Hot Club Ensemble. Watch this space! Finally (ok, I lied earlier, whatever), a warning from me: don’t drink and busk. It ends badly.