New Emanata EP

Get into the groove with this new four-track EP from my superhero soulful group, Emanata. From the afro-influenced Red Grass to the unnervingly dark hip-hop of The Dark One, Blagic Manket could make a fingernail feel funky. Give it a go!

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!

Teardrop

Here’s the final video from the session I did at Surrey University with Clement Rooney in April. ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack.

Greetings from Moritzburg

I am currently at a tinz (damn German kezboard) village near Dresden in Germany, attending the Moritzburg Festival Academy. Great people, lovely place and nice music. What more could you want?! (That’s a rhetorical question.) Next week I’m off to sunny (hopefully) France with the Park Quartet in Combret sur Rance. Here are a few pictures of my trip to Dresden (where we performed in the Volkswagen Factory) and a brand-spanking new video featuring Clement Rooney. It’s the grunge classic ‘Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.

Hymn for Him

Here’s a Submotion Orchestra cover (excellent band – check out their début album). This is a wonderful tune featuring beautiful strings on the original. I made my best attempt at sub-bass on a violin – you’ll need more than your laptop speakers to hear it! I’m away from real-life for the next four weeks, so this is my last offering for awhile. Sayonara!

World première & another video

On October 18th, I will be performing the world premiere of Louis Mander‘s sonata for violin and piano (see Diary for detailed info). Louis is an up-and-coming composer who I was very lucky to work with, albeit briefly, very recently. There are more exciting things further down the line, including a new opera by Louis, bits of which I have already had the fortune to play.

My quartet (Park Quartet) has received a very pleasant review (see page 5) recently in the Anglo-Netherlands Society Newsletter, of all places:

Ably led by Eunsley Park, the Park Quartet opened the evening’s events with Haydn’s Vivace Assai (from a set known as the London Quartets), Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Elgar’s Chanson de Matin. The Park Quartet fully demonstrated the strengths which have led to these third year BMus students being selected to represent the RCM in inter-collegiate competitions.

In other news, here’s the second video I am releasing from my April video session with pianist Clement Rooney. ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is an excellent song by Belgian-Australian artist Gotye, featuring Kimbra, and is the first refreshing tune that I have discovered in the top ten for a woefully long time. It’s worth checking out more of this man’s music, my favourite album being ‘Like Drawing Blood’. I hope Clem and I have managed to do him justice.

Recordings from the vaults

Good day to you all. Aren’t we having delightful English weather? But hey, where would England be without green and pleasant lands? With my exodus of the country looming for the remaining summer, I leave you with the first of a series of covers done by myself and pianist Clement Rooney in April. This is Outkast’s ‘Roses’.