Live Q&A with Chris Illingworth from GoGo Penguin at RNCM

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Jon Shard

4 June 2020 Entrance is free — Visit now

Join RNCM online for a live Q&A with Chris Illingworth from GoGo Penguin, whose new album was due for release on 5th June via Blue Note – the band has since delayed the release of their new record until the 12th June in support of #BlackOutTuesday.

GoGo Penguin are a Manchester-based trio whose music has always defied easy categorisation. Encompassing jazz, minimalism, electronica and more, their four studio albums wear influences from The Esbjörn Svensson Trio to Aphex Twin, Shostakovich to Massive Attack. Their last album, A Humdrum Star, was one of our favourites of 2018, and their score for Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi made for an unforgettable screening/performance at RNCM the year following.

The trio have chosen this point in their career to issue a self-titled album. This is usually an indicator that a band has arrived at a significant moment; a destination they’ve been striving towards, and finally reached. From the singles we’ve heard so far, this album sounds more pensive, less jazzy, and equally as mesmeric as those we’ve heard before. The track ‘Kora’, above, is our favourite single. Chris Illingworth’s piano is the star here, prepared and played in a way that emulates the African stringed instrument after which the song is named.

As ‘Kora’ illustrates, Chris’ approach to the piano is fascinating. Since graduating from RNCM in 2007, he’s gone on to carve out a unique style, largely predicated on bringing the characteristics of other instruments, electronic and acoustic, to the piano. In his interview with Andy Stott (Head of Popular Music at RNCM), we’re hoping to get a deeper insight into his approach and his inspirations. After the interview, Chris will be answering questions from RNCM students, before things are opened out to the public. If you’re a fan of GoGo Penguin, or indeed the piano, it’s well worth heading to RNCM’s Facebook page at 5pm on 4th June.

4 June 2020 Entrance is free Visit now

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