On March 23rd, the John Garner Quartet will release its new studio album, exactly one year since we recorded it live at Konk Studios, London. ‘Blue Fields’ features a mixture of original tracks and arrangements, covering artists including Pearl Jam, Joni Mitchell and Tan Dun. Here’s the title track to get you excited!
P.S. This is one for the game-geeks amongst you. I need say no more…
… to bring you this mildly interesting (if you’re lucky) blog. I will throw one or two titbits of Garner-ian trivia your way: should they strike a chord, read on dear friend; should they fall on deaf ears, duck and avoid a fate worse than boredom.
The first such titbit is news of my recent return from the East, where I was touring with the truly smashing folks of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Zipping from one delightful audience to the next, we visited such mysterious territories as Qatar (sandy), Japan (tall), Korea (mountainous) and Taiwan (exotic). [do pay attention – there’ll be a pop quiz next blog] Particularly notable experiences included a white-knuckled desert dune trip in a super jeep, a perilous lone hike into the Bukhansan National Park, a face-to-face encounter with some NBA basketball players whilst dressed as Ali G, and veggie chicken nuggets in the backstreets of Taipei. What more could you want from life? Here are some very haphazardly selected pictures:
Back in England (rainy), I have recently released a new video with the talented Neeta Sarl, Sam Ryan and Steve Barnegren. This live cover of the song ‘Perfect Darkness’ written by Fink has already been watched over 3,000 times and shared by the artist online. It’s a wonderfully dark soulful tune by one of my favourite bands of all time. Here’s our version:
Whilst on the subject of new recordings, allow me to direct your attention towards my jazz quartet’s latest release. ‘Live at Mallord Street’ was recorded, as you may have surmised, live in Chelsea in front of a real-life genuinely 100% living audience (who seemed to have a pretty jolly evening – and indeed were still alive when they left). You can listen right here, right now, on this very page, or take a stroll over to the dedicated page to read a little more (and potentially give it a download with a donation… go on… just reach into that imaginary online purse and dig out some digital paper… keep us musicians posting irritatingly beseeching blogs… HOORAY thank you!)… Click here to head that way.
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.
Aloha! (that’s as much joy as I can summon up on this ‘beautiful summer’s day)
I hope you’re having a beautiful summery day! Here’s a quick post about some exciting new media. This video of my jazz quartet was recorded live at a private concert in Chelsea. It’s a jazzed-up version of ‘The Gymnopedist’ by the very talented solo artist Jono McCleery, who I’m delighted has shared the video himself and given it his blessing. A few other tunes from this concert will soon be released in the form of a free EP for your downloading delectation!
I am addressing you directly in order to draw your attention to a rather exciting event which has been brewing for quite some time and has finally boiled over (guffaw). Yes, that’s right! Today of all days, May 22nd 2013, my very own jazz group has released its first record on Love Buzz Recordings – ‘Live at Trinity Studio.’
If there is any possibility that this missive has peaked your curiosity, I should very much like to point you in the direction in which one might be able to procure for oneself a copy of said record. Please point your cursor to THESE VERY WORDS and embark upon your Maiden Voyage (guffaw) on the rambunctious waters of the John Garner Quartet.
Warmest wishes to your dearest better half. We really must weather the slings and arrows of outrageous London perchance to dine together before the first snow.
P.S. I hope you like this rather clever rendering of the cover of the record; I am overawed by such technology as should allow me to send this in your direction from such a wretched distance!
Bonsoir mes amis! Je suis retourné de la France après un bon voyage avec mon quatuor à cordes.
If you have French friends, make sure they don’t judge me too harshly for the above sentence. After a long hiatus in news, I am back to recount some recent adventures and exciting online developments.
Firstly, the gypsy jazz Hot Club Ensemble, with which I play, has recently launched its website in all its pristine and just-out-of-the-box glory. Click here to take a look; pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy the ambience of 1930s Paris. . . . . . . . . . (and then head to the contact page and book us for your birthday party)
Another, slightly bigger, group with which I also play has just launched its website as well, and it looks very impressive indeed. There are some incredibly exciting performances planned for the coming year, including screenings of Amelie, Henry V and Nosferatu, accompanied live by the full orchestra. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for this group! Visit the Live Film Orchestra website here.
Lastly, my quartet and soprano Anna Rajah were delighted to be involved this week in a ProQuartet project in the beautiful city of Paris. Alongside the Gémeaux Quartet, we put on a concert of music by composers including Georg Tintner, Egon Wellesz and Kurt Weill at the Goethe Institute. Singing Songs in a Foreign Land is a research project focussing on music and emigration, with which the Royal College of Music has been involved. It was a great experience in such stunning surroundings, although not without its ups and downs! We owe a debt of gratitude to Heime Müller and Norbert Meyn for their inspiring and valuable input whilst discovering these fascinating works. Here are a few snaps from our trip:
I never want to see 5:20 on a frosty Saturday morning in London again. Having said that, I had a smashing time playing live on BBC London with the Lucy Claire Quartet. We were performing a couple of Lucy’s beautiful pieces for string quartet and electronics. Lucy writes deeply heartful music and is certainly a name to look out for in the cinematic future. You can catch our performance and Lucy’s interview for one week on BBC iPlayer. Click here to hear the broadcast.