- Stephen Kent (musician)
Stephen Kent is a professional
didgeridooperformer, percussionist, composer and recording artist.
Kent's musical career has taken him across five continents, living at various times in the
UK, Spain, East Africa, Australiaand the USA. His musical scores, composed for theatre, circus and dance companies, have received international acclaim and his work as a performer and recording artist has established him in the world musicscene, exploring a broad range of playing styles and musical genres. As a Master performer on the Australian AboriginalDidjeridu he has pioneered its use in contemporary music across the globe collaborating with an unprecedented number of globally renowned musicians, including Airto Moreira[Brasil] , Zakir Hussain (India), Habib Koite[Mali] , Omar Sosa[Cuba] , Leonard Eto [Japan] , Choi Jong Sil [Korea] , Steve Roach[USA] and many many more.
Forming the band Lights in a Fat City (with percussionist Eddy Sayer & produecer/sound engineer Simon Tassano), he made the first contemporary release of didjeridu music in the northern hemisphere (the landmark LP/CD "Somewhere" - These Records) in 1988.
With the band
Trance Mission, he joined the ranks of Jon Hassell, Steve Roach, and Robert Richin exploring a primal, techno-tribal music. Trance Mission was co-formed in San Francisco in 1992 by Stephen Kent (Didjeridu/Percussion), Beth Custer (Clarinets/Trumpet), John Loose (Multi Ethnic Drums/Samples) and Kenneth Newby (Asian Winds/Didgital Atmospheres), making up the quartet which produced 3 globally acclaimed CDs on the City of Tribes label over as many years in the mid-nineties. After several European tours and many live appearances on the West Coast of the USA, Loose and Newby moved on to other projects while Custer and Kent continued as Trance Mission, with Eda Maxym (also of Beasts of Paradise) joining on vocals and Canadian Peter Valsamis on Drums/Samples. This version of Trance Mission produced a live CD, "A Day out of Time", in 1999. Three of the TM recordings were mixed and co-produced by long term Kent collaborator, Simon Tassano (Lights in a Fat City, Beasts of Paradise, Stephen Kent & Richard Thompson)
In the 21st Century Stephen Kent has continued to develop his solo career, releasing two more solo CDs, "Oil & Water" and "Living Labyrinths", on his own Family Tree label. Recent projects include several years of combining with
Tuvan Throat Singingsensations, Chirgilchin as Karashay, ongoing work with Moroccan musician Yassir Chadly, performing with Malian oriented bluesman Markus Jamesand his group the Wassonrai (who include Kamale Ngonimaster Mamdou Sidibe), Eda Maxym's Imagination Club, and the Del Sol String Quartet(with whom he plays the work of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe, who recently performing at the Library of Congressin Washington DC.
His current projects include two trio groups oriented towards Indian music. One is Australian Bebop Ragas with Teed Rockwell (
Chapman Stick/Fretboard Tapping Instrument) and Sameer Gupta ( Tabla/Drums). The second, Baraka Moon, includes Geoffrey Gordon (Drums/Percussion) and Sukhawat Ali Khan(Vocals/ Harmonium).
Kent has amassed a catalogue of well over a dozen critically acclaimed CDs, including solo releases and others with his group projects: Trance Mission, Beasts of Paradise and Lights In A Fat City, and sessions work with artists such as Airto Moreira, and
Badi Assad. He produced and performed on the album "Halcyon Days" (1996) together with Steve Roach and Kenneth Newby, and performed on the soundtrack of the Terence McKennavideo "Alien Dreamtime" with Spacetime Continuum. His ground-breaking work has helped to redefine the sound of one of the world’s most ancient instruments, the Australian Aboriginal Didjeridu. As a solo artist he has made 6 CDs to date, the most recent being "Living Labyrinths", a live performance exploring the possibilities of incorporating live processing of the didjeridu sound. It was recorded on the Summer Solstice2006.
*1980 - Furious Pig - "I Don't Like Your Face" 12" EP [Rough Trade]
*1988 - Lights in a Fat City "Somewhere" [These Records/City of Tribes '93]
*1990 - Lights in a Fat City "Simple Harmonic Motion" (Video soundtrack. Independent)
*1990 - Stephen Kent "Ocho Elefantes" [Burnt Earth Music]
*1992 - Stephen Kent "Songs From the Burnt Earth" [Burnt Earth]
*1993 - Lights in a Fat City "Sound Column" [Extreme]
*1993 - Trance Mission "Trance Mission" [City of Tribes]
*1994 - Spacetime Continuum, Terence McKenna & Stephen Kent "Alien Dreamtime" [Astralwerks]
*1994 - Stephen Kent "Landing" [City of Tribes]
*1994 - Stephen Kent/Various Artists "Event Horizon" [City of Tribes]
*1994 - Trance Mission "Meanwhile" [City of Tribes]
*1995 - Beasts of Paradise "Nobody Knew the Time" [City of Tribes]
*1995 - Various Artists "Event Horizon Psi" [City of Tribes]
*1995 - Beasts of Paradise "Gathered on the Edge" [City of Tribes]
*1996 - Trance Mission "Head Light" [City of Tribes]
*1996 - Stephen Kent, Steve Roach, Kenneth Newby "Halcyon Days" [Fathom]
*1996 - Various Artists "Event Horizon Tao" [City of Tribes]
*1997 - Stephen Kent "Family Tree" [Double CD - City of Tribes]
*1998 - Badi Assad "Chameleon" (CD — Polygram Records)
*1999 - Trance Mission "A Day Out of Time" [City of Tribes] April '99
*1999 - Lights in a Fat City "Memory Ground" [City of Tibes] August '99.
*2000 - Michel Portal, Stephen Kent, Mino Cinelu "Burundi" (Musisoft)
*2004 - Stephen Kent "Oil & Water" (Family Tree)
*2006 - "Stephen Kent Live at Starwood" (CD — Starwood Recordings/ACE)
*2006 - "Stephen Kent Live at Starwood" (DVD — Starwood Recordings/ACE)
*2007 - Stephen Kent "Living Labyrinths" (Family Tree)
*2007 - Eda Maxym (w. Stephen Kent) "Imagination Club" (Family Tree)
* [http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=trance_mission Trouser Press article]
* [http://www.stephenkent.net/ Personal page]
* [http://smallworldpodcast.com/?p=206 Interview with Stephen Kent]
* [http://smallworldpodcast.com small WORLD Podcast] 2006
* [http://www.stephenkent.net/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=14&Itemid=36 Stephen Kent Bio Page] .
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