Curved Air — Phantasmagoria
♣ CURVED AIR — Legendary British Progressive ~ Classic ~ Art Rock group
— "Vyvrcholení všeho, co Curved Air slibovali v toku času svých předcházejících alb, a “zdaleka nejbohatší hodina kapely”. Jejich přehled v hudebním cítění učinil album zcela kompaktním dílem, poznamenal a převýšil význam velké většiny individuálních skladeb; zejména skládám kompliment úžasnému prolínání hudebních stylů a určitě také absenci okázalostí.
♣ Beautiful demonic violin — Tremendous musicianship — and the exotic presence of lead singer Sonja Kristina.
♣ Progressive rock band of the 1970s which fused electronic rock and classical elements.
Location: London, UK
Album release: April 1972
Recorded: Advision Studios, London, March 1972 ("Ultra–Vivadi" and "Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway?": E.M.S., London)
Record Label: Warner Bros. Records/Repertoire Record vinyl replica edition (REPUK1139).
Prize: (£8.99 GBP)
1. Marie Antoinette (6:20)
2. Melinda (More or Less) (3:25)
3. Not Quite the Same (3:44)
4. Cheetah (3:33)
5. Ultra–Vivaldi (2:22)
6. Phantasmagoria (3:15)
7. Whose Shoulder are You Looking Over Anyway? (3:24)
8. Over and Above (8:36)
9. Once a Ghost, Always a Ghost (4:25)
— Sonja Kristina / vocals, acoustic guitar
— Francis Monkman / guitars, keyboards, Tubular Bells, Gong, percussion
— Florian Pilkington–Miksa / drums, percussion
— Darryl Way / violin, keyboards, vocals, Tubular Bells, Mellotron on "Marie Antoinette"
— Mike Wedgwood / bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
— Annie Stewart / flute on "Melinda (More or Less)"
— Crispian Steele–Perkins / trumpet
— Paul Cosh / trumpet
— Jim Watson / trumpet
— George Parnaby / trumpet
— Chris Pyne / trombone
— Alan Gout / trombone
— David Purser / trombone
— Steve Saunders / trombone
— Frank Ricotti / xylophone, vibes
— Mal Linwood–Ross / percussion
— Colin Caldwell / percussion
— Jean Akers / percussion and featuring
— Doris the Cheetah / Grand Finale on Cheetah
Darryl Way / Sonja Kristina Linwood 1, 3
Darryl Way 4
Francis Monkman / Darryl Way 5
Francis Monkman 6, 7, 8
Francis Monkman / Sonja Kristina Linwood 9
Record rating = 9
Overall rating = 11
Best song: MARIE ANTOINETTE
♣ Yes! 'Marie Antoinette'! Boy do I love that song, an epic to be heard by everybody. ♣ The only other song about the French Revolution I can remember right now, off the cuff, is Rush's 'Bastille Day', and that one's absolute shit compared to Curved Air's romantic tale of the poor French queen. I can't gush enough at how all the parts of the track are so dang perfect. This lush baroque atmosphere of the main part, with the faraway dreamy smooth synth riff and the chimes and the steady gentle bassline, and Sonja singing as if she were standing in the middle of a ballroom all dressed in whatever she liked to dress in onstage... I don't even really need a handy–dandy accompanying video or anything, the imagery of the decadent, ceremonious, starchy high society is painted so impeccably. And then the rocking mid section, rousing and exciting but still actually presenting the whole picture from the point of view of the scared high society — 'they're over the balustrades! defying the cannon fire!' There are no special effects (strange enough, I actually expected such a gimmicky band as Curved Air to decorate the setting further with crowd noises and gunshots, but apparently they decided to let the listener's imagination paint all those things by itself), but that doesn't matter a single bit. And then it all reverts back to the original melody, but this time taken at a faster and more 'decisive' tempo, as if all the starchiness and forced majesticity were gone. Almost mathematical precision, if you ask me.
♣ And that's not all — just as you catch your breath, you're subjected to perhaps the most beautiful acoustic ballad in the entire catalog of Curved Air, 'Melinda (More Or Less)'. Actually, did I say acoustic? That's not an acoustic in the background, sounds more like a harpsichord to me... oh, well, now I hear there IS an acoustic AND a harpsichord, and a lovely flute rhythm as well and a lovely violin solo. Romanticism at its loveliest. Why the hell is nobody doing songs of such pure and unclampered loveliness nowadays? Sadly, they have passed away together with the charming naivete and almost childish sincerity that characterized the epoch. Today, you'd probably be afraid of being dissected in Rolling Stone if you did something of the kind. ♣ Today, what we need is serious and competent music that fully meets the advanced needs of the time. Like 'N Sync, for instance.
♣ Okay, don't let you catch me on this harmful nostalgic trail. Too bad the album never really ascends again to the height of the first two tracks — which prevents me from hailing it as Curved Air's best album, like many fans do, but there's still a lot to be said about the other songs. Hmm, let's see, the "dirty" side of Curved Air is well manifested on 'Not Quite The Same', a song dedicated to masturbation of all things; too bad the melody is nowhere near memorable, it almost sounds like a hurriedly penned account of an unlucky guy who constantly "busied himself, quite amusing himself, by abusing himself" set to a squishy musical background. It's still fun, nevertheless. And the song ends with a rather lacklustre instrumental (Way's violin spotlight 'Cheetah') and a stupid return to the Vivaldi topics in 'Ultra–Vivaldi' where they substitute violin for synthesizer and play the main theme accelerating it all the time. Gee, and there I was complaining about lack of gimmickry. Somehow this reminds me of the coda to 'Karn Evil 9', you know.
♣ The second side is pseudo-conceptual, a four–song suite that constitutes the very 'phantasmagoria' — a story of ghosts and the occult that has its moments of glory as well as its moments of glut. 'Phantasmagoria' as such (the first track of four) I like; it has a funny boppy poppy melody in the best of music hall traditions; the 'don't ring for a taxi, don't call the policemen' chorus is catchy, isn't it? It should be. 'Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway?' is worse, another gimmick consisting of a few minutes of gloopy synthesizer noises and electronically encoded vocals; kudos to the band for fiddling around with electronica, of course, but that's a strictly intellectual, not an emotional, decision of mine. 'Over And Above' is just a bit overlong at eight minutes; I mean, yeah, it tells us the entire life of the ghost (does it?), but the experience of Genesis tells us it's perfectly possible to economically squeeze a huge line of events into a three–minute song if the need arises. My favourite part is definitely the fast 'n' energetic jamming at the end, especially when the draconic wah–wah solo enters and the track falls apart in a shower of redhot electric sparks. And then 'Once A Ghost, Always A Ghost' ends the song on a positively, heh, hilarious note. What's that, Latin influences? A funny and inventive way to go out, somewhat reminiscent of the Stones' 'On With The Show' with its drunken noises in the background.
♣ Mumbo–jumbo! That was a boring review, wasn't it? Sorry, I'm a bit ill today and my brains are clogged with infection. In case I missed some particularly shining moment, please excuse me. Oh wait! Did I mention yet how much I love the album cover? Doesn't the luvverly font fully reflect the very nature of Curved Air? Now here's truly a band fit for the English queen. And singing about masturbation, too. :: http://starling.rinet.ru/
♣ Along with Second Album, Phantasmogoria, from 1972, remains the most highly regarded Curved Air album.
♣ A quirky and beguiling fusion of Progressive, electronic, Classical, Pop and ballad influences distinguished by Sonja Kristina's unique voice and Darryl Way's and Francis Monkman's virtuoso contributions.
Review by Dave Thompson; Score: ****½
♣ The sonic caveats which accompany Collector's Choice's other Curved Air reissues remain in force; the historical truth that what sounded timelessly groovy in 1971 is not necessarily so finger–snapping three decades later remains unimpeachable. But still, Phantasmagoria is a fabulous album, the culmination of all that Curved Air promised over the course of its predecessors; the yardstick by which all rock/classical hybrids should be measured. The opening "Marie Antoinette" sets the scene with lovely melody, impassioned vocal and a terrifically understated band performance which complements every syllable uttered by vocalist Sonja Kristina. The bridge into revolution ("the rabble have gone insane") is breathtaking — history lessons should all sound this good, and the amazing thing is that the album has only just got started. The gentle "Melinda More or Less" is swirling, sweet folky psychedelia, while "Not Quite the Same," a somewhat self–conscious ode to masturbation, disguises its proggy inclinations with a barrelhouse 6/8 rhythm and a genuinely catchy hook. "Ultra–Vivaldi" updates the first album's "Vivaldi" by, apparently, letting the Chipmunks have a go at playing it. And the four–part, side–long title track switches moods, effects, and even genres (jazz, mariachi, and the avant–garde all get a look in) to create an dazzling soundscape which allows every members a moment to shine — without once stepping into the treacherous swamps of solos and virtuosity. This was the original Curved Air's final album — by the time the accompanying tour was over, only Kristina and bassist Mike Wedgwood (himself a spanking new arrival) remained to carry on the good work. As farewells go, then, it is magnificent, the band's grandest hour by far. And listening to it all these decades later, one cannot help but wonder how much grander they might have become? ♣ • Reached: # 20 UK Charts
♣ Jean Akers Hooter, Percussion
♣ Gordon Anderson Executive Producer
♣ Colin Caldwell Engineer, Hooter, Percussion, Producer
♣ Robert Carvell Editing, Tape Preparation
♣ Paul Cosh Trumpet
♣ Alan Gout Trombone
♣ Paul Kosh Trumpet
♣ Sonja Kristina Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals
♣ Mal Linwood Rose Percussion
♣ Francis Monkman Composer, Editing, Gong, Guitar, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Piano (Electric), Synthesizer, Tape Preparation, Tubular Bells
♣ David Parker Trombone
♣ George Parnaby Trumpet
♣ Florian Pilkington–Miksa Drums, Percussion
♣ David Purser Trombone
♣ Chris Pyne Trombone
♣ Frank Ricotti Congas, Percussion, Vibraphone, Xylophone
♣ Richard Rockwood Art Direction
♣ Steve Saunders Trombone
♣ Crispian Steele–Perkins Trumpet
♣ Ann Steuart Flute
♣ Jim Watson Trumpet
♣ Darryl Way Composer, Piano, Synthesizer, Tubular Bells, Violin
♣ Mike Wedgwood Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Bass), Percussion, Vocals
♣ Richard Wynne Liner Notes
♣ More credits: Track A4 also featuring Doris the Cheetah. Track A5: Recorded at E.M.S. (London); Sequenced on a Synthi 100 Synthesizer.
♣ Track B2: Recorded at E.M.S. (London) by kind permission of Peter Zinovieff; This track consists entirely of tapes of Sonja's voice analysed and processed ba a PDP 8/L computer and a Synthi 100 Synthesizer. The final tapes were edited and prepared for performance ba Francis Monkman and Robert Carvell.
♣ From credit–sheet: "Recorded at Advision Studios (London), March 1972 (except where otherwise stated".
♣ On back cover: "Fabrication en Allemagne par WEA Musik GmbH · Made in Germany by WEA Musik GmbH [...]. On label: "(P)1972 Warner Bros. Records Inc."
For Professional correspondence, including booking enquires please email:
MANAGEMENT: Curved Air are represented by
QEDG Management: http://www.qedg.co.uk/
Recensione scritta da Marco Salzano per DeBaser. (il 19 novembre 2006 nel tardo pomeriggio)
— "CURVED AIR, with a real band attitude and a zest for life;
this is a band you want to see live for the sheer artistry
of how to deliver the musical goods." — Lee Dorian, Classic Rock
— Curved Air’s concerts and festival appearances continue to thrill a steadily increasing mass of new and old fans worldwide. Their experimental blends of classical themes, electronic sounds and pop/rock energy and beautiful, timeless songs are performed with fire and passion and tremendous musicianship.
The band, are still fronted by Sonja Kristina, with original drummer Florian Pilkington Miksa. and veteran musicians who were introduced through Sonja Kristina’s and Darryl Way’s solo projects Sonja Kristina states, “these are virtuoso musicians. Robert Norton on keyboards is exceptional — as is Paul Sax, a unique violinist, one of the first entrants to the Yehudi Menuhin School, and veteran of many alternative bands — a passionate and brave performer” .. Both Paul Sax and Robert Norton recorded and toured with my ‘Acid Folk’ band between 1988 and 1996 .
♣ All the band are brilliant players and inspiring people. Ex Darryl Way’s Verisma band–mate, bass player Chris Harris is literally our root on bass. Now AIRCUT guitarist Kirby Gregory has returned to Curved Air after 40 years in October 2013 to add his signature guitar sound. There is great chemistry and communication in this incarnation of Curved Air that the crowds love..."
ABOUT CURVED AIR:
— Considered (according to AllMusic) "one of the most dramatically accomplished of all the bands lumped into Britain's late–'60s prog explosion", Curved Air is a pioneering British progressive rock group of musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds.
♣ They are famed for their unforgettable live performances and 'Art Rock' music — the quasi classical imprints of Terry Riley hooked onto beautiful and demonic violin combined with electronic adventurous synths and interwoven with brilliant guitar wizardry mesmerisingly embroidered by the subliminal and exotic presence of a unique girl lead singer Sonja Kristina. All these elements elevated them from the underground Roundhouse scene to top the album charts in the early '70s.
♣ Along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air was one of the first rock bands after It's A Beautiful Day and The United States of America to feature an electric violin, inspiringly and dramatically explored by the excellent Darryl Way and now by the dynamic Paul Sax. Original keyboard player/guitarist Francis Monkman was the trailblazer for future 'electronica' and ambient extemporization. Robert Norton has inherited this sonic template and himself a spinner of ethereal soundscapes extends the boundaries towards further horizons while Florian Pilkington Miksa on drums then and now, with Chris Harris' bass guitar artistry, provides the expressive rhythmic pulse that is the Curved Air signature.
♣ Curved Air have to date released eight studio albums and though progressive innovators they were hailed as Pop Stars when their single, the sultry "Back Street Luv" was a Top 5 hit in 1971. The present line–up of Sonja Kristina, Florian Pilkington–Miksa, Kit Morgan, Chris Harris, Robert Norton and Paul Sax have been touring together since 2009.
♣ On 12th November 2012, much to the excitement of their fans and press worldwide, a Live CD/DVD titled 'Live Atmosphere' was released — 'Songs of revolution, insanity, loss, desire and ghosts: a unique compilation of powerful Curved Air songs played by a vital contemporary Curved Air'.
♣ ‘Live Atmosphere’ produced by Marvin Ayres , includes a bonus DVD with a tour featurette and an atmospheric visual collage.
♣ A new studio album, the first in 36 years, is soon to be released worldwide by US label Cleopatra Records in 2014
Birth name: Sonja Kristina Shaw
Born: 14 April 1949, Brentwood, Essex, England
♣ Before Curved Air, actress and singer Sonja Kristina performed in the British Folk Clubs during her teens. In 1968 she starred as "Chrissy" in the radical Tribal–Rock Musical 'Hair' when it opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London. As Curved Air's lead singer and lyricist she topped the British female vocalist polls — the first UK girl singer to front a Rock band. She won the hearts of a generation of young men and boys and the music cognoscenti.
♣ The constant flame leading Curved Air through the decades, Sonja Kristina's hypnotic attraction endures today, “vibrant and edgy as ever, Sonja, the original prog diva gives a charismatic and highly visual performance. Looking like a glamorous gipsy queen with her flowing red hair and dressed in sparkly black, that signature voice is still smoky and seductive as she spins around the stage around the excellent musicians who are Curved Air”. — (Music Street Journal)
Curved Air is: Vocalist Sonja Kristina, Drummer Florian Pilkington–Miksa, Guitarist Kirby Gregory, Violinist Paul Sax, Bass Chris Harris and Keyboard Player Robert Norton.
Recent Live Reviews
— "All of the players impress. Although only drummer Florian Pilkington–Miksa is from the original line–up, Sonja has found some stunning new instrumentalists who immerse the audience in a set of swirling, whirling solos that emphasize moods and nuances and floating waves of sound that act as a counterpoint to Sonja's dramatic sense of theatricality". — (Classic Rock Society Magazine)
— "Sonja Kristina prowls the front of the stage... expertly playing off the energy of all the performers with her. Guitarist Kirby Gregory... moves through figures, shapes and techniques with deceptive ease... violinist Paul Sax pulling sounds from his instrument like a mad scientist ... there's no denying they remain formidable live!" — (Prog Magazine)
— "While women in UK progressive rock were relatively few and far between... it's Sonja that wore the crown. Well the undisputed queen of British Prog is on tour again and what a joy it is to see her and Curved Air back in action... Violinist Paul Sax... sweats for his art right from the off and with virtuoso wizardry sears through the set like a man possessed... the whole group of assembled musicians are perfectly qualified to recreate the band's uniqueness authentically... Catch them while you can". — (Classic Rock)
— Kristina married Malcolm Ross in 1971 and Stewart Copeland in 1982 with whom she had three sons; Sven, Jordan (of Hot Head Show) and Scott. She became acquainted with Copeland while he was first road manager and then drummer for Curved Air (1974–1976). They divorced in 1991.
Website: http://www.sonjakristina.com/ / Website: http://www.curvedair.com/
♣ Sonja Kristina — vocals (1970–1976, 1984, 1988, 1990, 2008–present)
♣ Florian Pilkington–Miksa — drums (1970–1972, 1974, 1990, 2008–present)
♣ Kirby Gregory — guitar (1972–1973, 2013–present)
♣ Chris Harris — bass (2008–present)
♣ Robert Norton — keyboards (2009–present)
♣ Paul Sax — violin (2009–present)
♣ Darryl Way — violin, keyboards, backing vocals, guitars, drum machine (1970–1972, 1974–1976, 1984, 1988, 1990, 2008–2009)
♣ Francis Monkman — keyboards, guitar (1970–1972, 1974, 1990)
♣ Rob Martin — bass guitar (1970)
♣ Ian Eyre — bass guitar (1970–1971)
♣ Mike Wedgwood — bass guitar, vocals, guitar (1971–1973)
♣ Eddie Jobson — keyboards, violin (1972–1973; substitute — 2009)
♣ Jim Russell — drums (1972–1973)
♣ Phil Kohn — bass guitar (1974–1975)
♣ Stewart Copeland — drums (1975–1976)
♣ Mick Jacques — guitars (1975–1976)
♣ Tony Reeves — bass, keyboards (1975–1976)
♣ Alex Richman — keyboards (1976)
♣ Andy Christie — guitar (2008–2009)
♣ Kit Morgan — guitar (2009–2013)
♣ Barry DeSouza — drums (1971; filled in for Pilkington–Miksa)
Interview with Curved Air Lead Singer Sonja Kristina Linwood
Interviewed by Kevin Pollack
♣ Sonja Kristina Linwood is an English musician most recognizable as the vocalist for Curved Air.
♣ I recently spoke with Sonja about her career in Curved Air and the other bands she’s been in.
KP: How did you get involved in music?
SKL: I had learned a little piano and then took a handful of Spanish guitar lessons when they were offered at school. Then, when I was 13, I spent hours by myself at home teaching myself to play basic chords and to read and pick out simple tunes on the guitar with a book ‘A Tune a Day’ for guitar and this way was able to learn lots of songs from ‘101 American Folk Songs’ and also a book of European Folk songs as well as learning from LPs I borrowed from our local library. I found the recordings of Buffy Sainte Marie, who was a great inspiration and Odetta, Judy Collins, Joan Baez , Bob Dylan and many others. Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf fascinated me and Edith Piaf, Jacques Brele and Dusty Springfield were influences subliminally too.
Ξ So I started to sing to friends and family and then went out to listen to music and play at local folk clubs. I heard much inspiring live music over the next two years — from traditional folk and blues artists and singer songwriters. I got a good response to my fledgling performances and after asking around discovered that the top folk music management agency was Folk Directions, run by Roy Guest and Joe Boyd. I boldly wrote to Roy asking for guidance and was invited to play for him and Julia Creasey his female personal assistant at his office in Camden Town. He then became my agent for the next 5 years. I was playing a few concerts a year whilst still at school and college. He also secured some TV appearances for me, such as The Michael Aspel Show and a folk music program called Song and Story.
Ξ I now was sharing billing with top folk artists such as Julie Felix, Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly (The Humblebums) and since Roy and Joe represented everyone from Buffy Sainte Marie to Al Stewart I was able to meet and mingle with my heroes. I supported a brilliant solo Sandy Denny a few times and she and Buffy were evidence to me of the power of female plus guitar to fill a huge auditorium alone with a passionate performance. I listened and learned songs from legendary Martin Carthy and Tom Paxton and other songwriters, but was especially excited by The Incredible String Band and Donovan. In 1967 the music of The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Arthur Lee’s Love and Buffalo Springfield and Pink Floyd were the background sounds to my college year…
Ξ Roy was instrumental in sending me to audition for HAIR and also introduced me to Curved Air in 1970 by which time he was working out of Brian Epstein’s NEMS agency. NEMS booked several of Curved Air’s key shows although I was not aware of Roy’s involvement with them at the time. I learned that very recently.
KP: In 1968, you were cast as “Chrissy” in the musical Hair. How was that experience for you?
SKL: I had studied drama a bit at school and college but this stage training was unlike anything else. The advertisement said “Hippies wanted, must be good movers, Equity members only”. Luckily Roy had made me join the Variety Artist’s association when I started to work with him and that had merged with Equity so I was able to get an equity card. We worked on presence, being present, trusting the others in the company, being alive on stage, being larger than life, working with maximum energy and focus. Being totally at home on the stage. Directed by the full team of La Mama theatre company’s director Tom O’Horgan who had devised the show with the writers Gerry Ragni and Jim Rado Off Broadway in New York, and with the musical composer Galt Macdermot and original Choreographer Julie Arenal, we were aware we were part of a theatrical phenomenon — a huge international success.
Ξ I performed my solo song “Frank Mills” on stage 8 shows a week throughout my first pregnancy aged 19 with only one month off (to give birth) in two years. Many members of the “Hair” Tribes are now established artists. In my company were Tim Curry, Marsha Hunt, Elaine Page, Paul Nicolas, Oliver Tobias, Patricia Hodge and Richard O’Brian and others who have become respected life–long working stage actors such as Michael Feast and Diane Langton.
KP: For a short while you sang with The Strawbs. How was that for you?
SKL: Dave Cousins and the Strawberry Hill Boys performed sometimes at my local folk clubs and Dave and I became friends. Later when I was at college in London in 1967 I had the opportunity to run an evening at the famous folk venue The Troubadour, Dave and some of the other Strawbs members used to drop by and play a few songs as did Al Stewart.
Ξ Sandy Denny had recorded with them but left afterwards. Dave asked me to sing with them and I played I think only one folk club gig with them before they decided to continue without a female singer.
Ξ A couple of years ago I guested on the Strawbs 40th Anniversary show which was a fantastic entire weekend of every Strawbs Lineup and off shoot band. I sang several of the Sandy Denny songs, including “Tell Me What You See In Me,” “All I need is You” Dave and I have been talking about doing some more shows together in the future.
KP: How did you come to join Curved Air?
SKL: I had been in “Hair” for over two years and was ready to move on. A young photographer who had started managing Curved Air — then called Syssiphus — had apparently seen me working in Hair. Darryl and Francis and Florian were the pit band in another experimental musical by Galt McDermott. He met with Roy Guest who called me on January 1st 1970 to invite me to audition with the band. I sang Melinda which I had written in 1967 and they played me some of their songs … I liked them and the music was very unusual and atmospheric. So that was the beginning.
KP: Who are your influences?
SKL: All the people I mentioned above. I like passionate, cool performers who deliver with drama and emotion and can tell a story. Other artists who have stirred me are Tom Waits, David Bowie, John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Jeff Buckley.
KP: How close were you and Hair writer Galt McDermott?
SKL: Not at all, he was the Musical Director. I don’t remember any other contact with him than when he was coaching the cast or sitting in the stalls during rehearsals.
KP: Curved Air has changed line-ups over the years. How has it been for you to see people come and go while remaining in the group through it all?
SKL: There is a challenge in recruiting strong musical voices to replace the brilliant founders and creators of the music. To continue seamlessly musically whilst enriching the legacy. I think the Air Cut band with Eddie Jobson and Kirby Gregory and of course Mike Wedgwood were a golden lineup — so brilliant they had to rush off to seek their various destinies after a very short time within Curved Air but their contribution was significant.
Ξ The following reunion with the original members was a high point energetically with all the band more mature and confident and me singing with more harshness and abandon than ever before or since.
Ξ The players Darryl brought into the last two years of Curved Air before the long hiatus brought a variety of new influences and of course Stewart Copeland’s anarchic excellence . Mick Jacques, Phil Kohn and Tony Reeves were more blues / funk and Darryl experimented with modern pop stylings as well as leading the band though melodic Heroic opus’s that had more connection with Curved Air’s beginnings. Myself I am proud of my little song Broken Lady and the lovely Midnight Wire.
Ξ The original band played two shows in 1990 supported by Noden’s Ictus who were the cult psychedelic band of the moment Ozric Tentacles under another guise…. Ξ Curved Air chose not to continue at that time since all were involved in separate solo artistic outlets.
Ξ In 2008 there was a serious and ongoing intention for Curved Air to play again and reach out to the old and new audiences for progressive music. The best of the entire catalogue has been brought to life by a very contemporary band of virtuoso players who have now been thrilling audiences for four years and want to create together and introduce more definitive curved air material.
KP: What made you want to branch out with your solo material?
SKL: Released from Curved Air I continued to write and record experimentally with different lineups — First Sonja Kristina’s Escape…. A punkish Curved Air … the songs later recorded as my first solo album Sonja Kristina.
Ξ Then Curved Air 84 EP and gigs … Darryl’s songs in a techno 80s style.
Ξ A tour with a High Wycombe prog band Tunis in ‘85 had a mixture of Curved Air material and my new songs … coinciding with the release of William Orbit produced 12’ single , mine and Metro guitarist’s Sean Lyons version of “Walk on By” backed by Darryl and myself performing O Fortuna.
Ξ The most enduring cradle for my solo material was my Acid Folk / Cloud 10 era from 1989 — 1996. A return to my acoustic singer–songwriter roots with a wonderful bohemian traveller band of eccentic extemporizers. Amazing musicians, two of which are now in Curved Air. Yehudi Menhuin schooled violinist Paul Sax and Robert Norton, a lovely keyboard player who has released many albums of sonic explorations .
Ξ 2000 to 2008 were beautiful years when I have been fortunate to collaborate on two albums of material as MASK with the brilliant modern classical ambient composer Marvin Ayres — a cellist/violinist / keyboard player and visionary producer and Sound Artist. It had been said that if Curved Air were recording in the new century it would sound like MASK. Marvin has in fact produced the first output of the new Curved Air — a Live Album called ‘Live Atmosphere’ and will produce the new Curved Air material.
KP: In 2003, you released the album Cri De Coeur. What made you want to do a cover album?
SKL: When busy bringing up my children I stopped performing and writing and concentrated on studying voice and performance for an MA degree and coaching singers at Middlesex University. As well as musical theatre and popular music styles there was a strong Jazz department.
Ξ Through six years of working with the Jazz repertoire which was not an area of music I had been familiar with at all and had never performed I had a desire to try my own styling of some of the lovely emotive songs I had got to know. I did not want to do obvious Jazz arrangements but wanted to create a timelessness with slow poignancy and space into which my voice would sit. I found some fine young jazz musician, a keyboard player, a double bass and a flute/saxophone only … then I wanted an eerie harmonic resonance far in the background of the live recorded instruments.
Ξ I heard some wonderful atmospheric music that was part of an installation in the ICA gallery in London and contacted the composer — Marvin Ayres. He agreed to create the ambience and ended up co–producing the album. For me this album gave me words to voice when I had no words to express a deep sadness I was going through and was the conduit to my ongoing work with Marvin who invited me to create new work with him and relit the flame of my dormant creativity.
KP: What’s next for you?
SKL: New writing, leading my brave and important musicians onwards into a sublime Curved Air for the future with the best possible sounds and production and potency for all our voices to fulfill and surpass all expectations… Beautiful, Powerful and truthful …. :: http://rockchicago.net/2012/11/page/2/
ABOUT STEWART COPELAND
Ξ Stewart Copeland, an American musician, has an estimated net worth of $80 million. In addition to being a musician, he is also a composer and instrumentalist. According to Rolling Stone magazine, he is one of the greatest drummers in the world.
Ξ Stewart Copeland started playing drums for his school at an age of 12. He joined the Curved Air band as a drummer after completing his college studies. He later formed his band, The Police, after which they released several songs.
Ξ Stewart Copeland earned a lot from his songs such as Fall Out, Nothing Achieving, On Any Other Day and Does Everyone Stare. With Klark Kent, they released a number of UK singles which appeared on the UK Singles Chart. Stewart Copeland has composed many movies’ soundtracks, including Airborne, Wall Street, Talk Radio, Riff Raff, Surviving the Game and Raining Stones. He has also released solo albums such as The Rhythmatist and The Equalizer & Other Cliff Hanger.
Ξ Stewart Copeland was born in July 16, 1952 in Alexandria, U.S. He attended American Community School before joining the UC Berkeley and United States International University. He married Sonja Kristina and Fiona Dent and has seven children.