The Kanneh-Masons Team Up With Olivia Colman and Michael Morpurgo For 'Carnival'

6th November 2020

The Kanneh-Masons Team Up With Olivia Colman and Michael Morpurgo For 'Carnival'

Decca Classics have today released the special collaboration album, Carnival, recorded at Abbey Road Studios and featuring The Kanneh-Mason family (Isata, Braimah, Sheku, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu), Academy-Award winning actor Olivia Colman and best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo. The album was engineered by Jonathan Allen, assisted by Dan Hayden and is out now.
The release will include poems written and read by Morpurgo accompanied by Colman, guest musicians and French composer Said-Saëns’ musical suite Carnival of the Animals, which represents different animals through descriptive musical motifs.

This will be the first time the Kanneh-Mason’s have teamed up as a family for an album. Speaking on the project, they said: “This album has grown from our passion as a family for making music together. This has been a heart-breaking time for musicians and performing artists. We want to share our love of music and our passion for communication. As young children, the power of combining music with storytelling is truly magical and we are honoured to have collaborated with Michael Morpurgo, Olivia Colman and the wonderful musicians who joined us, to create music that celebrates our connection with the natural world. Together, we want to inspire children and adults to listen more closely, to value our world and all the diversity within.”

Morpurgo added of the Kanneh-Masons, who are aged between 11-24: “These young people are remarkable, not because they are young, not because they are the seven siblings from one family, but simply because they make magnificent music together, and it is evident they love doing it. Hear them and you know it. See them and you know it.”
The recording also features Morpurgo’s beautiful personal Grandpa Christmas Story, which will be set to music for the first time along with classic tracks including Dance of the Sugar Plum Fire, Flight of the Bumblebee, Sea Murmurs and The Seal Lullaby.

Also featuring on the record will be Kanneh-Mason’s own rearrangement of Bob Marley’s legendary 1980 hit, Redemption Song, which will mark the 40th anniversary of its release.

Isata Kanneh-Mason played at the BBC Proms for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside Sheku, who became the first cellist to hit the UK Top 10 albums chart in 2020 with his album, Elgar, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Watch a live performance of the track Aquarium, recorded in Studio Two below.
You can purchase the album on the Abbey Road Shop.