They became best friends and out of this friendship grew a desire to play both traditional and contemporary music which celebrated the history, culture and diversity of Cornwall. Ahanan (from us) was formed and the first self-released Album met with critical interest and led to sessions on BBC Radio and appearances at a number of 'folk' venues within Cornwall and across the UK. With a desire to experiment with the genre Chris and Alan sought to enhance the live sound with the addition of other gifted musicians who appeared as collaborators and key members of Ahanan. The line up included at various times, Baranby Ray (an extremely gifted percusionist currently touring with his own jazz trio), Irish fiddle player Tristan Kessel, and "Pip" and djembe player. In 2004 folk musician Kerenza (member of the band Leski) added her talent as one of the finest dulcimer players in the UK to the duo and Ahanan, the trio, performed at several folk festivals and folk clubs during the summer of that year to critical acclaim. The season culiminated at a festival performance at a wet and windy Minnack Theatre in Cornwall. A second album was hastily recorded and released to coincide with an appearance at the Royal Cornwall Show. Whereas the first album was rich in original songs in both Cornish and English, Ahanan II featured Karensa and a number of Cornish tunes. Because the recordings were completed in haste this album was re-named the 'bootleg album' as neither Chris nor Alan were happy with the mix. The trio split when Chris' work and career took him to Aberdeen in Scotland where he became both a lecturer and researcher at Aberdeen University. Chris and Alan still had a number of projects on the 'back burner' and a gig in the summer of 2006 brought Ahanan (the duo) back to play the music they both loved... as well as talk about other experimental projects and possibilities. Their collaborations in the past had not only led to the formation of Ahanan, but to other areas and genres of music. They had worked on school productions of "The Mystery Plays", West Side Story and Guys and Dolls.
They were also invited to contribute to the soundtrack to the first ever feature film produced in the Cornish Language (Bitter Sweet); they had written a musical for children based on the story of the Mousehole Cat; they had toyed with and recorded a rock-track for the Pan Celtic song competition and were exploring the fusion of traditional Celtic music with dance/trance beats and rhythms. Chris' research in Aberdeen was based upon the nature of human communication and speech patterns in order to see how models of music composition could echo (perhaps mimmick) the cries, laughs, sighs and subtext of everyday conversation. Chris and Alan met in Aberdeen just before Christmas 2006 to talk about their plans for the following year which were to include another Ahanan project as well as a development of the 'fusion' project they had discussed during the previous summer. At the start of the New Year 2007, Chris was out walking his dogs and was knocked over in an unfortunate accident. He suffered severe head injuries and died a few days later in hospital. He left a wife, a ten month old baby boy and so many friends who miss him dearly. Since Chris' death, and after the period of mourning had passed, Alan began working with Matthew Clark (a Cornish musician and songwriter) to re-mix and re-edit some of the Ahanan material. This is being done so we can celebrate one aspect of Chris' musical talent and to ensure that his son, Talan, has a record of his fathers music... There will be a re-relase Ahanan I and a remixed Ahanan II as both CD's and via download. All monies made from the sale of these CD's/downlaods will be placed in a fund for Talan. Perhaps as importantly it will allow more of you to hear some of the music which inspired Chris and through which he inspired all those he worked with. Alan (Ahanan) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..