Jaz Coleman is said to have
the most diverse career in the music industry, oscillating
between the white heat of Killing
Joke and the Symphony Orchestras of the world. Brought up in a family
of academia he studied piano and violin from the age of six and at eight
was admitted to sing for the Addington Palace Choir. By 10 he had sung
in many of the great cathedral choirs of England and achieved the most
prestigious accolade for a chorister, the Saint Nicholas Award. By 14 his
prizes included the Gold Medal at the Bath International festival, the
Rex Watson Festival challenge cup at the Cheltenham festival and Grade
8 with distinction for the violin.
In 1979, aged 17, Jaz founded the Post Punk experimental group Killing Joke whose world tours and many recordings have influenced a whole generation of contemporaries such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. Jaz has written for artists ranging from Enigma to Metallica.
In 1982 Jaz began composition and orchestration studies that led him (five years later) to Minsk in Byelorussia and Leipzig in DDR and later still to study with Hungarian master Dr. Peter Saunders. In 1989-90 Jaz began a study of quarter tones and instrumentation of Arabic music at the Cairo Conservatoire and in the studies of the celebrated composer Ammar El Sherie. This period culminated in the album Songs From The Victorious City which was composed with Ann Dudley (Art of Noise, The Crying Game, Phil Collins) and recorded with the awesome Arabic violinist Aboud Abdul Al and the Master Arabic Musicians of Cairo for TVT/China Records.
Completed in 1991, Symphony No 1, "Idavoll" and
"Fanfare For The Millennium" were the first large scale Orchestral works.
They are performed by conductor Peter Scholes and the New Zealand Symphony
Orchestra in a recording produced by Chris Kimsey (producer of seven Rolling
Stones Albums). The album is scheduled for release on the classical RCA
Victor label in 1996. Symphonic Rolling Stones (1994) featuring Mick Jagger
was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, and was an immediate
hit, making No 2 on the Billboard Classical charts. Jaz has also worked
with various European avantgarde musicians (Can DAF, New Order, Neubaten,
Young Gods, Kraftwerk
etc.) on the film Friespiel. Other commissions have included film scores
for Weird Science and Showgirls which are presently on worldwide release.
Currently Symphonic Pink Floyd has spent 26 weeks at the top of the Billboard classical charts. In November the Auckland Philarmonia Orchestra (Jaz is their resident composer) will perform the world premier of this highly successful work. Also being performed that evening will be Pacifica an ambient impressions piece for String Quartet which is scheduled for release through BMG in October 1996.
In a collaborative multi-media venture with Roger Dean, a visual and aural interactive quest has been completed and is ready for release on CD Rom. Symphony No 2 Onyx forms the heart of this extraordinary work which Jaz calls a game. It is due for release at the end of 1996.
Jaz is currently collaborating with Philip Glass on the production of Symphony No 3 "Requiem For A Modern World" which was composed for two choirs and a full orchestra, it will be sung in five languages. Jaz has described this as a sum total of his life up to this moment in time. It expresses his deep belief in loving compassionate supreme being. The premier of this composition will be performed by the Auckland Philarmonia Orchestra in March 1997 New Zealand.
The Australian Olympic Committee has commissioned Jaz to write a Symphonic theme for the Australian Olympics in the year 2000. In January 1997 Jaz is producing, composing and arranging an ambient Aboriginal collaboration with the Australian Orchestra.
Jaz Coleman has toured the
world from Iceland
to Australia many times and recorded in London, Cairo, New York, Berlin,
Cologne, Auckland and Wellington.
Drummer Siggi Baldursson (born Sigtryggur Baldursson,
October 2, 1962) was a member of Theyer, whose most prominent international
moment came in 1982, when they recorded with Youth
and Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke.