Artist Profiles: Kornog

Kornog

In 1981, a group of four young musicians joined in Brittany to form the group Kornog. lt featured Breton guitarist Soig Siberil and fiddler Christian Lemattre, along with the brilliant Scottish singer and bouzouki-player Jamie McMenemy, formerly of the Battlefield Band. Flautist Jean-Michel Veillon joined the band the following year. As one of the first Breton bands to tour and record in America, their success was unprecedented. During the 1980s, they recorded four acclaimed albums and toured throughout Europe and North America.

Giving a modern but still acoustic flair to age-old Breton dance tunes, Kornog created a revolutionary sound at once graceful and thrilling, ancient and contemporary. Their complex, textured arrangements made for an exciting new music, and their influence still resonates throughout the Celtic world and beyond. Nevertheless, their individual talents resulted in many invitations to collaborate with other Celtic musicians, and in 1987, they disbanded to pursue their solo projects.

Nearly two decades after their beginning, Kornog re-formed for a powerful new album Korong, named for the river running outside their studio in Brittany, as well as an extensive tour of the United States in the fall. With guitarist Nicolas Quemener, known from the Irish group Arcady, stepping in for Siberil (who had prior commitments) the band started a new phase in their career. Their signature sound continued to push the boundaries of Breton’s traditional music into new territory, confirming that they were still at the cutting edge of the region’s thriving music scene.

Discography:

Kornog 1 (Ar Folk, 1981) 33T
Première Live in Minneapolis (Green Linnet, 1983)
Ar Seizh Avel – On Seven Winds (Green Linnet, 1984)
Kornog IV Kanaouennou an Aod (Adipho, 1986)
Korong (Green Linnet, 2000)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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