Market Square Records

MARKET SQUARE NEWS

Sonja Kristina 

NEW RELEASE

SONJA KRISTINA – ‘Sonja Kristina’ (Market Square MSMCD140)

UK Release date: July 24th 2006
Distributed by RSK Entertainment Ltd


Who is Sonja Kristina?

• Born “somewhere in Essex, England” in April “sometime in the 1950s”

• Daughter of a well known criminologist specialising in the vagaries of youth; granddaughter of Swedish film star Gerda Lundequist

• Educated by “an assortment of hkojas, gurus, munshis, mahatmas and anthroposophists” besides the tutors of mathematics, literature, metaphysics, agronomics and other subjects who came twice weekly to the approved school which her father supervised

• Propelled into overnight West End success in her debut, before even finishing drama school playing Chrissy in the London stage production of HAIR

• Became vocalist, lyricist and a generation's female icon with the art rock band Curved Air

Sonja Kristina

 

Sonja Kristina is one of modern music’s true ‘journey women’ and pioneers. An inexhaustible creative energy drives her as much now as it did back in the 1970s when she was the face and voice of one of rock’s most original acts, Curved Air.

This band’s critically and publicly acclaimed output won it fans world wide, while Sonja scored repeat vocalist awards from the music press, whose centre-spread images of her became staple fare on the walls of teenage boys’ bedrooms.

Despite its success, Curved Air, in common with many others of the progressive ilk, foundered amidst personnel changes and the onset of punk – a phenomenon which had caught the attention of its drummer (and Sonja’s future husband) Stewart Copeland.

Stewart Copeland/Sonja

Events turned quickly: on tour in Newcastle, Stewart and Sonja met Sting, Curved Air broke up and the following year, inspired by the punk movement sweeping through London clubs, Sonja formed Escape … while Stewart joined The Police.

Escape was a rocking outfit similar to Curved Air in their later "Air Cut" period. The only recorded legacy of this group, "Sonja Kristina," is reissued here for the first time in this latest Market Square release.

“Sonja Kristina” was recorded in 1980 at Surrey Sound Studios by Nigel Gray, producer of the first three Police albums.

The album was packed with great songs, several ranking among Sonja’s best, including the stunning "Full Time Woman." Vibrant, exciting and imaginative in treatment, it benefited from the musicianship on offer, and a team list brimming with first rate players.

Working on her debut, Sonja found solid support from drummer Liam Genocky (later with Steeleye Span, Gillan, Soft Machine and Gerry Rafferty), Wings’ Laurence Juber and of course her former band mate, Darryl Way after Curved Air formed his own band Wolf.

A respected composer, arranger and, orchestrator, Darryl has composed and recorded a string of modern classical and classical rock albums, most recently with new band Verisma (www.darrylway.com).

Bassist Alfie Agius was to go on to work with Julian Cope’s Teardrop Explodes; guitarist Steve Byrd was with Ian Gillan and Kim Wilde; keyboard player Andrew McCrorie-Shand worked with proggers Druid and then composed British TV’s cult Teletubbies theme!

The album first appeared on the Chopper label in 1980 together with a picture-sleeve single of "St. Tropez” and an energetic cover of Spirit’s “Mr. Skin" on the B-side.

Included on this reissue is the only recorded output by the 1984 reunion of Darryl and Sonja in the single “Renegade” backed by “We’re only Human”, written, performed and produced by Darryl at Worried Rabbit Studios under the name ‘Curved Air 84’.

Sonja toured the UK in 1985 backed by a local High Wycombe band, Tunis. This tour
co-incided with the release of her solo 12" single on Crunchy Records including a reworking of Bert Bacharach’s "Walk on By".

Recorded at Worried Rabbit, Nineva Assyria and mixed in William Orbit’s studio in Little Venice, London, the single was played and arranged by Sean Lyons and William Orbit with guest saxophone from the legendary British jazz musician, Terry Lightfoot.

All of these tracks are released here as bonus cuts for the first time ever on CD. With tape masters lost or mislaid over the passage of time, all tracks here have been re-mastered from vinyl copies of the original album and singles kept in Sonja’s personal archive.

A period of musical hibernation followed these original recordings, with Sonja’s time filled mothering her two young sons. In 1988, she appeared again on the London stage playing the title role in Tony Craze's harrowing play about a schizophrenic girl, 'Shona'.

Inevitably, music followed and she returned shortly to her folk/psychedelic roots with a new ensemble alchemising a form of acoustic music, which Sonja referred to as "acid folk."

An album, "Songs From the Acid Folk," was released in 1991 to critical acclaim and has been subsequently reissued with bonus tracks by Market Square (MSMCD109).

Following 1995’s “Harmonics of Love”, Sonja studied intensively for an MA in performing arts, as well as holistic voice and sound-healing, re-emerging in 2002 with a new interest in ambient fusion.

After recording a classy set of classic jazz and musical theatre songs in “Cri De Coeur” (Market Square MSMCD116), Sonja and collaborator Marvin Ayres in 2005 released “Heavy Petal, the Tenebrous Odyssey of Jack and Virginia” (Mandalic) as MASK.

Mixing improvisation with seductive songs and beats, MASK “fuses modern electronic with classical music and the band’s performances interweave filmic imagery with visual atmospheres and effects”.

MASK is pure theatre – pure Sonja.

2006 finds Sonja Kristina – actor, singer, vocalist, artist – doing what she does best: creating, innovating, entertaining.

This welcome reissue of her solo debut is a vital reminder of an individual talent.



Sonja Kristina remembers the songs of “Sonja Kristina”…

1. Street Run

Notting Hill Carnival …uneasiness in the air…young men glowering, bolshy, strutting …Under the Westway bridge throbbed the heart of the fun...then the crowd burble mutates into manic surges like baying, rabid beasts ...the heart bursts, flooding hysteria and fear…and they all come running away from the trouble down the narrow streets like an icy shiver down a spine.

2. Man He Colour

In our Mayfair squat with the brothers Copeland and the big footed Gorgon Cruella. The song was born while the artist Christopher de Jiminez painted my face on Marie Antoinette…. First sung to Henry Padovani…the lyrics were finished in the studio during the original Escape recordings…sadly those are missing…they had a beautiful chaotic brilliance….


3. The Comforter

The downside of dabbling in self-medication and hedonism - Comfort and side effects - our Goth-punk romp…written in our miniature garage dolls-house in Shepherd’s Bush by Ravenscourt Park. Memories of roller-skating with Stewart round the neighbourhood. Dreaming and planning together...Walking to Hammersmith to my manager Derek Dowsett's abode by the River…


4. Rollercoaster

Temptation and seduction…love as an enchanted disorientating thrill – time, energy and dignity expended to dance to the tune of someone in control, oblivious and immune.


5. Breaking Out In Smiles

Written by Norma Tager, my friend ...who took me in when times were troubled- from the magic penthouse in Hampstead to the blue house on Portabello road ...she kept the spirituality of performance alive for me...


6. Colder than a Rose

Norma’s beautiful mystical love song set to Paul Traver’s hymnal chords…


7. Mr Skin

Roy Thomas Baker wanted to produce this album. He financially supported the Escape Band rehearsals and touring ... we did record his choice of covers: this song and Free’s 'Be My Friend'.


8. Fade away

By Roy Hill. Looking for songs I went to my publisher, Island Music and was taken with a couple of Roy Hill songs. Incidently, at the time, being early Police days, I brought them a tape of Sting’s songs - but they turned down the publishing….


9. St Tropez

Paul Rudolph wrote the music…my quiet, gentle Pink Fairy …since Ladbroke Grove Days. Twink and Silver and Gwen and Sandy…Hawkwind and White Panthers, International Times and Oz, way back when I was a hippie student loose in London. Written before he retired to Canada to open a bicycle shop.


10. Full Time Woman

Travers/Tager again...a beautiful song....


11. Renegade

Bledlow Ridge ... Recording Darryl’s songs in the studio with superman wallpaper and Kryptone green wood panels ... a view of valleys and fields and horses and sheep. Small cows dancing on the lawn… banquets and frolics and Pyrenean Mountain dogs.


12. We’re only Human

Darryl’s lament for Ethiopia. Darryl and I toured with a guitarist called Diesel as 'Curved Air 84'.


13. Walk On By

William Orbit-mixed torch song sparks into Sean Lyons’s creative re-arrangement…Little Venice was the setting in William’s garden shed studio. Paul Mulligan released it as Crunchy (Records) and we invaded Scotland with a Tunis Tour, working back through the UK to the final gig at Dingwalls with Motorhead’s Lemmy, and Stewart in the crowd.


More on Sonja Kristina online at

www.sonjakristina.com

www.mask.uk.net

www.marketsquarerecords.co.uk


ENDS


Information released by
Market Square Records

Contacts: Peter Muir; tel + 44 (0)1296 715228 email peter@singsongpr.biz

Pat Tynan tel + 44 (0)1895 636935 email pat@singsongpr.biz

www.sonjakristina.com




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