chris conway & ajahn achalo - three jewels and a lotus - new download release
After 8 months of work the collaborative album with Buddhist monk Ajahn Achalo and myself, all conducted by email between his monastery in Bangkok and my studio in Leicester has been completed. His chanting and my wafty music, plus guests sitar player Neil Donoghue I worked with on Ayurveda Gold, and Celtic harper Mo Coulson
His students are releasing a CD but it will only be distributed at monasteries in Thailand and Malaysia, but he has said I can co-ordinate a digital release. It has just gone up on Bandcamp, where you can listen or download it and name-your-price (including £0). iTunes, Spotify, etc to follow.
Hear it here
3rd April 2017
great review for "safe harbour"
CHRIS CONWAY & DAN BRITTON
Safe Harbour ****
Chris and Dan celebrate twenty-five years of working together, in Safe Harbour, the pair’s third album as a duo. They’ve also pursued active solo careers during that time, with Conway in particular a prolific songwriter, composer and recording artist across an array of styles, while both play in Celtic outfit, Govannen.
Safe Harbour, released on Conway’s own label, is a fine collection of songs – six from Conway and five from Britton. There’s also a cover of Charles Kingsley and Garnet Rogers’s ‘Three Fishers’, which references the 1838 Clovelly fishing disaster, as does opening track ‘The Storm’ from the pen of Britton, three of whose ancestors perished when twelve boats and twenty-six men left for the herring fishing grounds; only one vessel would return after a storm in the Bristol Channel.
Much of Britton’s material draws its strength from his West Country roots and personal experience (‘Song For Eric’ is about the death of a friend) while Conway’s reveals something of the musical and spiritual traveller. His near-seven-minutes-long ‘Magical Rooms’ is arguably the album’s standout track, reflecting on what makes him who he is and how he got there.
The entire album is a delight, though – satisfyingly rootsy in places (fiddles, mandolin, Irish whistles, bodhran, kalimba and more contributing to the overall mood) with a little jazzy piano here and there in the mix. Strong songs are graced by warm, mellow voices, often in ambitious arrangements, and all beautifully produced in Conway’s home studio. David White - R2 Magazine
1st April 2017
live happenings - april
Conway & Andy Nicholls - Cactus
Conway & Andy Nicholls - Broood, New Walk, Leicester
Chris Conway & Dan Britton - 30min slot - Kontra Roots, Working Men's Club, Earls Barton, Northamptonshire
30th March 2017
quadelectronic 100 - Volume 1 & 2 - new releases
Quadelectronic is the monthly electronic improvisation event I organise and to celebrate our 100th event we said we would release all of the music from the night and here it is. A splendid night it was with 9 musicians and our liquid lightshow artist Lumiere Ogbanje -
Chris Conway: theremin, electric piano, low whistle, vocals, effects Jez Creek: iPads, effects Steve Escott: bass, effects Linda Faulkner: vocals Alan Freeman: Korg MS-20, effects Steve Freeman: Moog Rogue, bowed CD, effects Dave Powell: symphony hurdy-gurdy, effects Matt Stone: guitar, effects Jim Tetlow: laptop with keyboard, cajón
There is variety on both volumes but Volume 1 is the more sounds based and Volume 2 the more melodic. You can stream them online or download them and name your own price (including £0) Vol.1
An archive of all recordings made at Quadelectronic events over the past 8 and a half years is being uplodaded by Alan Freeman. More recordings are being added all the time from the very first Quadelectronic 1 in 17 June 2008.
It's fascinating hearing these undedited recordings. Although each event has it;s own atmosphere, it is fair to say we have eveolved over the years to more of an ambient aesthetic. Things were pretty lively and noisy back then and we started out doing long improvisations where players dropped in and out as they please. Only after a few months did I come up with the randomly chosen groups playing for 7ish minutes format.
Check out the Quadelectronic Documents archive page here
26th March 2017
alessandro monti - urban folk - intuitive maps
Last summer a bass player from Venice came to Leicester and organised some jam sessions involving myself and other local msuicians to record for his Urban Folk project album "Intuitive Maps" The music was instrumental and quite psychodelic. Well the album has been released and I play theremin, keybaords, flutes, kalimba and voice on 3 long tracks = 35minutes
First solo songs concert since I can remember - months certainly. Went well - new whistles, new kalimba, & new bombarde all debuted - see photo :-) Was fairly bold with the setlist in the first set - "hits" in the 2nd. Then lots of folks to talk to. When I got home I was very tired, a bit hoarse, but pleased. :-)
Old/New" Set 1 - Time To Talk, Tomorrow Lives Again, Long Days Waiting, Alien Phone Invasion, A Little Bit Of Loving, Surprise Me, Easier, Leaf Boat Dreams, Ten Years.
"Hits" Set 2 - The Wishing Tree, Alien Salad Abduction, Lifespell, bombarde interlude, Love Space Station, Damned, Super Heroes Never Die, Wiccan Chicken flutes, Green Clothes, - encore - Three Headed Girl
7th March 2017
meeting gilbert o'sullivan
I got to meet Gilbert O'Sullivan after his concert in Birmingham. I gave him a copy of my album Out Of The Blue which I thought he might like - especially Lost In My Mind - and he singed my copy of his great Latin album Latin A La G.
I told him what I liked most about his music was the unexpected chord changes, especially in the bridge of his songs, and he lit up and said that was what he enjoyed most as well.
A nice guy and it was a great concert
26th February 2017
audible light - essence - new release
Audible Light release our 5th album Essesnce on the Zorpin label.
Recorded live at the Ambient Underground 6 concert at The Cookie, Leicester in January
in multitrack enabling us to mix it really nicely. Guitarist/violinist Chris Thornhill joined us a special guest on 2 tracks.
Every Audible Light album has a slightly different vibe and this onehas an airy, floaty feel. There are some great minimal music tracks and some spacey waftiness too. As always, balance is our thing.
CDrs available soon, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify in a few weeks. Hear it here, and download it if you like for £5
11th February 2017
chris conway & andy nicholls - pathways - new release
Piano & tenor saxophone improvisations After 27 years playing jazz together we decided to do something new - record an album of improvisations. For me it was a logical extension of my solo piano improvisations albums Glisten, Midnight Window Blue & Outside In.
It was a quite a revelation how naturally we took to this. We mostly play compositions at our gigs in bars and weddings. but it all came naturally and the interaction showed our long association had been built on listening and responding.
We haqve made a short run of CDs but the album is also available to download from Bandcamp. now.
For more info see album website Hear the album here
29th January 2017
piano & tenor sax improvisations album - recording complete
Months ago Andy Nicholls and I recorded 6 piano & tenor saxophone improvisations. Today we recorded 7 more and have completed recording for the album. In fact we have more than we need. Next comes mixing and mastering, then tracks and albums titles, and cover art.
It's amazing that int he 26 years we have played together we have never thought of doing this.
26th January 2017
mo coulson in the studio & other studio news
Celtic harper chum Mo Coulson came to the studio yesterday without much of a plan but we seem to have started another album. It
will be our 3rd after Spirits Of The Mermaids & Spirits Of The Angels. We completed 3 tracks in the afternoon and we shall return to this project over the next few months.
Sax player Andy Nicholls comes to the studio soon to finish our album of improvisations ofr piano and tenor saxophone.
Audible Light took good multitrack recordings from Ambient Underground 6 concert and we are mixing it soon.
100th Quadelectronic event recordings are also due to be mastered for release soon.
19th January 2017
audible light - night forest - 40 minute promo video
Trying to cathc up on promo videos, I made a YouTube video for 40 minute track Night Forest from the Audible Light album Convergence.
The whole album is now uploaded and can be hear on this playlist
11th January 2017
vikki clayton - messenger
My compadre of old Vikki Clayton has a new album out. Called Messenger, I play on 7 of the 12 tracks and Vikki sings a version of my song Coming In To Land, and on a song of hers, The Gardener, I produced and played all the instruments.
You can hear clips and buy the album here.
You can hear Vikki's version of Coming In To Land here
1st January 2017
buddhist chants collaboration
I have been working on a recording project with Buddhist monk Ajhan Achalo who is based in a monestray in Bangkok, Thailand to set music to his Buddhist chants. He has kindly allowed me to share some of the music we have made. My friend Neil Donoghue who I made the Ayurveda Gold album with added sitar on 4 tracks.
Gigs – 128 (120)
Celtic - 55 (59)
jazz - 28 (26)
songs - 27 (20)
electronic - 18 (15)
albums – 5 (10)
Govannen – Celtic Air
Audible Light – Convergence
Chris Conway – Outside In
Chris Conway – Electric Skies
Chris Conway & Dan Britton – Safe Harbour
as guest musician - 2 (3)
Lorraine Bowen – The Crumble Lady
Simon Waldram - Insolation compilation - 1 (1)
Dan Britton & Friends – A Falling Leaf
Music from piano album Midnight Window Blue used for DVD 188 Miles To Appleby - a film by Charlotte Patte.
Notable Venues & Festivals
Leicestershire Countryside Fair
Clovelly Herring Festival
Kettering Arts Centre
Acoustic Gardens 2, Belgrave Hall
Solo theremin set opening for The Enid @ The Musician
Happy Landings 25th Anniversary,
Quadelectronic 8th Anniversary
YouTube of Buddha Dreamer passes 2.5 Million listens.
First studio Conway/Britton album for 15 years.
A busier year live but not so manic in the studio. Celtic Air took a long time to put together, co-ordinating 5 of in the band and arranging it all. Focussed thereafter on more arty albums for me. Wouldve been busier but had to cancel 4 gigs with the flu. Studio time was busy with working for recording fchants or Buddhist monk Ajahn Achalo. Celtic - a new album from Govannen Celtic Air. Govannen stayed pretty busy.
Songs – Chris Conway & Dan Britton album Safe Harbour, tour to Devon, and gigs with Sally Barker & Mia and the Moon.
Jazz – Solo jazz piano album Outside In. Happy Landings trio 25th Anniversary reunion concert.
Electronic - Audible Light album Convergence and solo ambient theremin album Electric Skies. Solo theremin concert opening for The Enid.
New Age – Govannen album Celtic Air released on new age labl Paradise Music. Ongoing recordings of chanting with Buddhist monk Ajahn Achalo.
A very busy summer (60 gigs in 4 months) and a quieter winter. It's been a year of greater variety, - more songs, more jazz, more electronic, and one where I allowed myself to follow my interests more.
24th November 2016
chris conway & dan britton - safe harbour - new release
Studio album by singer songwriters & multi-instrumentalists Chris Conway & Dan Britton - their first duo studio album in 15 years!
Despite being very busy with Celtic band Govannen, Chris & Dan had never stopped playing concerts of their own songs in a duo, often augmented by Neil Rabjohn's percussion. But they never had the time to go back to the studio.
Sometime around the start of 2016, Dan had recorded a couple of songs with Chris about his family history which were put out on Youtube. Then they started to really enjoy the duo concerts. Somewhere along the line they decided to write some news songs, combine them with songs from their solo albums that were firm favourites in their live set, and record them. This they did here and there throughout 2016, with Chris adding more to the ones Dan had originally recorded. Then suddenly it was done.
Recording on the Chris Conway & Dan Britton album of our songs is finished. The album is mastered and is at the pressing plant. Check back here for more news of the album release -our first duo studio album for 15 years!!
Govannen chums Neil Rabjohn, Adele McMahon and Roger Wilson all appear on the album.
electric skies - new release - ambient theremin album
5 years after Adagios Electric I have released another album of ambient solo theremin & effects (plus a little low whsitle, voice, and shaker) I recorded it one afternoon (4th October) as a way to rehearse for my solo theremin perfomance opening for the legendary prog rock band The Enid.
Interesting to hear the differences in 5 years - I was using similar effects. I think some subtle refinements can be heard. Anyway it sounds pretty anyway so check it out.
It's downloadable or streamable on Bandcamp now - iTunes, Amazon, Spotify in a month plus I can sell you a lovingly handcrafterd CDr on a you-want-one-I'll-print-one basis.
30th September 2016
what's been happening?
Apologies for not keeping up with the website, blogs, photos, gig reports and e-newsletter. I've had the busiest summer for years with 60 gigs in the last 4 months, plus recording in the studio and promtion to do. I've been to busy doing it to document it.
1. Chris Conway & Dan Britton album - Getting there - 12 songs recorded but need some sessions with percussionist Neil Rabjohn and a few things to add ourselves. We had a cool photoshoot in a pub in Oakham.
2. Buddhist monk chanting album - A Buddhist monk in Thailand heard my Buddha Dreamer album and asked me to make music around his chanting recordings. This is quite a big project of 8 tracks, some quite long, and multilayered, so it will keep me busy for quite a while
3. Chris Conway & Andy Nicholls - piano & saxophone improvisations. Still halfway through - not had time to add to this.
4. Sally Barker + CC & Dan Britton - Planning 2 upcoming gigs in October with Dan Britton and sharing the bill with Sally Barker
7. recorded with my friend Lorraine Bowen in Brighton.
27th September 2016
happy landings 25th anniversary concert
My jazz trio Happy Landings - CC piano, Neil Segrott bass, John Runcie drums recently celebrated our 25th anniversary with a dinner - then we decided to have a concert.
Happy Landings recorded 3 albums Meet You There, Sky High, Think Blue Count Two of jazz & fusion between 91 & 94. Then teor sax player Andy Nicholls joined in 95 making a more mainstream jazz album Who Cares?
So Happy Landings played the first set at the Regent Jazz Club in Leicester. in the 2nd half they were joined by sax player Andy Nicholls. There was a great turnout and it was a blast to air these tunes again - and were amazed how well we did on only one rehearsal :-)
20th September 2016
Another milestone for the monthly improvised electronic music session I run at Quad Studios - for 100 months we have made our strange sounds.
The plan this time was to have Jim Tetlow record it all on his multi-track and release the best it somehow. Luckily it was a really great session of moody subtle ambient music.
Watch this space for a release.
14th August 2016
cc @ acoustic gardens 2 & the criterion - gig reports
Acoustic Gardens 2 - Belgrave Hall
Twas a warm and sunny day, and a lovely crowd had gathered on the lawns of Belgrave Hall, Leicester. I had long wanted to play there as Belgrave Hall and it;s gardens is a special place I discovered for myself many years ago and had been my "secret garden".
My chum Neil Secrott did the sound expertly and all around were many friends int eh audience. I was a little adventurous playing Storyteller and Out Of The Blue.
Set - Storyteller, Monkeys On The Moon, Lifespell, Superheroes Never Die, Out Of The Blue, Wiccan Chicken, Three Headed Girl
I had just dashed from playing a 30minute set at the Acoustic Gardens 2 event and set up quickly to play what was 2nd out of 3 gigs that day (I had a party gig with Govannen that night) . It's been a while since I played a 2 x 45 minute solo set of songs. 15 minutes before the gig the room was empty but friends arrived and a nice mellow crowd assembled. My set wandered wandered around off my list as i relaxed into it. I plyaed My Mind's Eye for the first time in years. A Chinese lass said afterwards my songs reminded her of Gershwin. I'll take that! :-)
Set 1 - Another Way Of Living, Easier, Lifespell, My Minds Eye, The Wishing Tree, Monkeys The Moon, Surprise Me, Damned, Call Me
Set 2 - Call Of The Wild, Superheroes Never Die, Love Space Station, Deja Blues, Wiccan Chicken Flutes, Green Clothes, Journey's End, Three Headed Girl
2nd August 2016
outside in - piano improvisation + outside sounds - new album
I recorded a new piano improvisation album last week. It is a single 51 minute track, and this time I placed 2 microphones out of the window to record the outside - rain, breeze in the trees, the odd car, which adds an otherworldy underscore to the music and sounds at times like the ocean.
I first did this outside recording on my first solo album 4am where I recorded a blackbird singing on my street at 4am.
It is available to listen, download to on Bandcamp and CDs will be on a you-want-one, I'll print one basis. It will be on iTunes & Amazon in a month or so.
I'm delighted with it - the music is a bit sparser perhaps than the previous piano album Midnight Window Blue, and the occasional folk-ish melody appeared.
24th July 2016
cc @ simon says...festival - gig report
Had a great time playing at Simon Says... Festival in Leicester. I don't play many festivals, or outdoor marquees, and I was a bit worried as I was only second act on and not many on the site, but luckily ace street band King Brasstards brought a crowd in and they stayed for my set.
It was one of those nice occasions onstage where everything flowed and the audience were great. I changed a line on my Monkeys On The Moon song to reference Donald Trump (though not by name) and it got a huge cheer - i was delighted folks were really listening to the lyrics.
Set --Another Way Of Living, Monkeys On The Moon, Lifespell, Superheroes Never Die, Wiccan Chicken Flutes, Three Headed Girl
see photos here
After my set I recorded my song Out Of The Blue at a pop-up studio run by Leicester College. You can here it and download it free here.
30th June 2016
chris conway & dan britton @ the donkey - gig report
What a fab Christo & Dan gig at The Donkey. Our chum Andy Griffiths played a stunning opening songs set!
Dan & I tried a few new songs*, with percussionist Neil Rabjohn. I took the big piano keyboard which felt different and probably the way to go for us now. A lovely listening crowd!
We sold some CDs too :-) Thanks to Clare for the photos.
Set - Where Will You Be?* Carousell, 1838*, Journey's End*, Song For Eric, Lifespell, Crazy Horse, Train Of Thought, Wish, The Alien Jellyfish Song, The Snow & The Fire
see photos here
29th June 2016
quadelectronic - 8th anniversary!
Monthly electronic improvisation session Quadelectronic celebrated it's 8th anniversary at Quadelectronic 97at Quad Studios, Leicester this month.
7 players and liquid lighting master Lumiere Ogbanje gathered as usual and improvised in randomly chosen groups for 7minutes at a time.
They also played my anniversary game I devised at our 5th Anniversary. - all play - 8 minute piece - only 8 notes/sounds aloud, each lasting 8 seconds.
There was also a game of Tag Trio - a trio starts and as each player leaves, they tag another player to replace them. In the end we all ended up playing as a septet.
Here's to the next 8 years!
Govannen's Celtic Air album is finally available on CD after having been available as a download for several months.
We have a few copies available from thewebsite page via the Paypal button for £9 in post and packing anywhere.
So finally the 4 Elements are completed, which started 12 years ago when we started recording Healing Waters in 2004, then Celtic Fire came in 2007, then Celtic Earth in 2012, now Celtic Air in 2016.
21st June 2016
Been quiet on the website because I have been BUSY. Lots of recording projects in the studio are happening.
1. Chris Conway & Dan Britton album - 15 years after our first duo studio album it was time to do another :-) - work
has begun in earnest and quite a few tracks have been recorded. The album will feature new songs and songs we have been playing together for quite a while.
2. Chris Conway & Andy Nicholls - piano & saxophone improvisations. For the Aloft label this album of atmospheric imprvisations is coming nicely - we're about halfway now...
3. Govannen - Live - we had some great live recordings from our Kettering Arts Centre concert - we are selecting the tracks now and I will master them.
25th May 2016
audible light -convergence - new release!
Ambient quartet Audible Light release their 4th album Convergence on the Zorpin label. Recorded live at the Ambient Underground 4 event in April at The Cookie in Leicester UK.
There are 3 tracks including the 40 minute Night Forest
which features special guest Dave Powell from Etherwheel on hurdy-gurdy & effects on one track. The vibe with the album is a nocturnal atmospheric feel which flows between between lyrical, electronic and minimal passages.
Convergence can be streamed online or downloaded from Bandcamp for £5 or can be ordered on CDr from the webpage for £9.
18th April 2016
5 new songs
I've been getting stuck into songwrtiting again and since Christmas I've got 5. Some will go onto a Chris Conway & Dan Britton album that we have started and others I guess I'll carry forward to a solo songs album.
I decided to record demos of these songs, partially to help shape them, and to demo them for Dan to choose from.
For a while I've posted these up as a playlist on Soundcloud as it could be a while before they surface so you might like to hear this virtual new songs EP. Hear the 5 new songs here
Now I need to get on and write some more!
8th May 2016
leicester city champions gig
I got a last minute call to play for the Leicester City football team at celebrations after they had lifted the Premier League Trophy at the King Power Stadium.
It was background jazz and I was paired by the organiser with sax player Marcus Joseph - we'd never played together but thanks to Marcus's ability to read charts it went fine. It was quite a chaotic night, and we were in the players and families room, playing just in front of the Schmeichel and Wasilewski family tables.
We paused for the fireworks display on the pitch and we left amid gathering crowds across the city.
After playing I got to take a photo with the trophy :-)
see photos here
24th April 2016
chris conway & dan britton @ joules yard - gig report
The CC & DB concert at Joules Yard, Market Harborough was a treat - Accompanied on percussion by Govannen chum Neil Rabjohn, there was a great sound and fab audience ona chilly night in April. Dan & I introduced a new song* each, and the old ones felt really fresh as we hadn't done a dynmamic duo set ina while. It was fab to see so many chums in the audience - thanks to all who came to see us. It certainly gave us the enthuisiasm to get on with recording a new album and get some more concerts. See photos here
Set 1 - Carousell/Long Time Gone, Song For Robbie*, Journey's End*, Purple Rain, I Put A Spell On You, Magical Time, On My Way, Matty Groves.
Set 2 - Wish, Train Of Thought, Crazy Horse, Long Days Waiting, When Will We Be Married, Call Of The Wild, The Snow And The Fire, The Alien Jellyfish Song - encore Helpless
21st April 2016
ambient underground 4 - gig report
Ambient Underground 4 - nice vibe - smaller crowd than I'd hoped but we broke even & sold 3CDs.
Music was looovely - Audible Light set first - really nice ambient piece - then Dave Powell started a solo electric hurdy-gurdy set and I joined him in our Etherwheel duo.
Then after the break all 5 of us had a 45min jam - hit that zone where everyone adds a little bit here and there and it adds up to a magical commingling whole.
Guest Dave Powell's electric hurdy-gurdy went well with Audible Light's sound.
11th April 2016
govannen - celtic air - sampler promo video
8th April 2016
govannen - celtic air - cover art & downloads
This is the cover art for Govannen's forthcoming album for Paradise Music, Celtic Air. It should be available for download very soon, the CD will be a month or so...
Celtic Air completes the cycle of elements albums that began with the release of Healing Waters 11 years ago, followed by Celtic Fire and Celtic Earth.
Simon Stockhausen - Life Bump Simon Stockhausen - Minimal Nightmare
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Angel Procession from Sunday from Light
Richie Beirach - Ballads
Santana - Lotus Tony Scott - Like A Child's Whisper
Robert Charles Wilson - Affinities
Remedios Varo - The Mexican Years - pictures and story of artist Mexican surrealist painter Remedios Vario.
Charlotte Patte - 188 Miles To Appleby - a lass's experiences travelling in a Romany caravan.
Badrinath Ki Dulhania - marriage agency and working girl film with nice feminist message.
Danger Man - S1
Dick Van Dyke Show - S1
Frasier The Golden Girls
Shiina Ringo/Tokyo Incidents - Season Goodbye