the armed man -
a mass for peace
Late in 2004, Andrew Wainwright and Duncan Gibbs had a flash of inspiration. As part of the final year of their music degree at Middlesex University, they would transcribe Karl Jenkins' immensely popular The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace for brass band, choir and organ, and present a concert of it. Andrew set about arranging the brass parts, whilst Duncan augmented the score with the addition of an organ part. It was not long before the arrangement was approved by both Karl Jenkins and Boosey & Hawkes, the publishers.
April 2005 saw the première performance of the transcription, in Barnet, in the presence of Karl Jenkins, and in May 2006 a follow-up event took place in Bromley, raising money for that most worthy of causes, Brass Band Aid. It was after this that the suggestion of a recording came from some of the performers, and in May 2007 that recording was brought to fruition.
The Brass Band Aid Celebrity Band, a composite group featuring many of the UK's top brass players came together, along with an 80-strong choir comprising of members of Bromley Temple Songsters of The Salvation Army and Exeter Festival Chorus, together with other guest singers. They were joined by vocal soloists Louise Turner (soprano), Marjory Watson (alto), Nicky Spence (tenor) and Mark Norwood (bass), and under the baton of Howard Evans produced an outstanding recording of the work.
This recording does not just present a piece of music. It is a musical offering of peace and love to those less fortunate than ourselves. The Armed Man is a graphic depiction of the horrors of war and violence that ripped apart so many communities in the 20th century, highlighting the gross injustices of which we are made constantly aware in the media. The music is dedicated to those who died in Kosovo in the 1990s, but it is relevant to so many acts of violence throughout history, including the armed conflicts that so consistently stand in the way of Africa's opportunities.
1. The Armed Man
2. The Call to Prayers (Adhaan)
4. Save Me from Bloody Men
6. Hymn Before Action
8. Angry Flames
10. Agnus Dei
11. Now the Guns Have Stopped
13. Better Is Peace