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Kan is a unique melding of the bold and beautiful flute virtuosity of Brian Finnegan, from Armagh in the North of Ireland, with the expressive and daring fiddle deftness of Aidan O’Rourke, from Scotland’s Isle of Seil, cemented by the organic and intuitive drumming of Harrogate’s James Goodwin and the unfettered, playful guitar reinventions of Ian Stephenson, out of Selby in Yorkshire.
Sleeper is the debut album from Kan, and the first fruits of the band’s intention to create what they call “a homogenous quartet of lead instruments”, which emerged from the musicians’ frequent past collaborations – both in their compositional and recorded work and in less formal and more lubricated sessions.
The tunes on Sleeper have, as their backbone, Brian and Aidan’s Irish and Scottish traditions – focused on intricate, groove-entwined melodies whilst embracing Breton dance, Asturian jigs and the influence of avant garde jazz pianist Nik Bärtsch, and Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen.
On stage, Kan perform in an arc with no lead musician – “The drums are as important to the melodic content as the fiddle”.
Between them they’ve recorded and performed with the likes of Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon, BBC Philharmonic, Blazin’ Fiddles, Liverpool Philharmonic, Kathryn Tickell, Northern Sinfonia, Wayne Shorter, Eddi Reader, Justin Currie, Roddy Woomble, Baltic Crossing, Adem, Sting (yes, really), OMD (yes, really), Jack Bruce (and again), Bella Hardy, Nitin Sawhney, Katherine Jenkins, Jan Garbareck, Karine Polwart, Trilok Gurtu… and we could go on.