The Kanneh-Masons have announced their new album Carnival, a very special collaboration featuring the seven “extraordinarily talented” (Classic FM) Kanneh-Mason siblings, Academy Award-winning actor Olivia Colman, and children’s author Michael Morpurgo, will be released on 6 November 2020. Carnival, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, is the Kanneh-Masons’ first family album with all seven siblings – Isata, Braimah, Sheku, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu.
The release includes new poems written by War Horse author Morpurgo to accompany French composer Saint-Saëns’ humorous musical suite Carnival of the Animals which features amusing portraits of different animals through descriptive musical motifs. The poems are read by the author himself who is joined by The Favourite actor Colman.
“These young people are remarkable”
Michael Morpurgo noted, “These young people are remarkable, not because they are young, not because they are the seven siblings from one family, but simply because they make magnificent music together, and it is evident they love doing it. Hear them and you know it. See them and you know it.”
The album also features Morpurgo’s heart-warming Grandpa Christmas story, set to music for the first time with classic tracks including ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ and ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, a new arrangement of Eric Whitacre’s ‘The Seal Lullaby’, and the Kanneh-Masons’ own arrangement of Bob Marley’s iconic hit ‘Redemption Song’ celebrating 40 years since its release in 1980. Carnival is the debut recording for youngest sisters Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu.
All seven siblings will perform together at London’s Barbican Hall on 22 October 2020 and the live concert will be streamed online.
The Kanneh-Masons are seven exceptionally gifted brothers and sisters
The Kanneh-Masons are seven exceptionally gifted brothers and sisters, including cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, who have become famous around the world for their incredible musical talent. While Carnival marks the first Kanneh-Mason family album, Sheku and Isata have both released their own solo albums. Sheku Kanneh-Mason rose to fame after winning BBC Young Musician 2016 and performed at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. He has released two albums – Inspiration, a personal collection of pieces which inspired him in his career, and Elgar which includes the composer’s famous Cello Concerto. In January 2020 Sheku became the first cellist to enter the UK Official Album Chart Top 10 when Elgar debuted at No. 8. Isata recently won Germany’s prestigious Opus Klassik Young Artist award for her debut album Romance: The Piano Music of Clara Schumann.
“We want to share our love of music”
The Kanneh-Masons explained, “This album has grown from our passion as a family for making music together. This has been a heart-breaking time for musicians and performing artists. We want to share our love of music and our passion for communication. As young children, the power of combining music with storytelling is truly magical and we are honoured to have collaborated with Michael Morpurgo, Olivia Colman and the wonderful musicians who joined us, to create music that celebrates our connection with the natural world. Together, we want to inspire children and adults to listen more closely, to value our world and all the diversity within.”
Morpurgo added, “To be making music and stories and poems with people of such talent, lifted our spirits, gave hope and happiness to everyone there, at a time when we all needed it most, left us all inspired to create a better world for all of us after this is over. I hope and believe all of you will feel the same once you have heard it.”
The Kanneh-Masons’ Carnival will be released on 6 November 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.