FIVE QUESTIONS FOR DANNY KEANE
One of the UK’s top cellists, Danny Keane has performed with some of the UK's finest artists in recent years, including Anoushka Shankar, Mulatu Astatke, Nitin Sawhney, Damon Albarn, Penguin Café, The Heliocentrics, Charlie Winston and many more. After recently recording the new Contemporary Soloists: Cello library with Sonixinema, we sat down to have a chat with Danny about everything music!
Tell us a bit about yourself
DK: My name is Danny Keane - I’m a musician, composer and producer. As a young man I studied at the Trinity College of Music in London and went on to work with people like Anoushka Shankar, Mulatu Astatke, Nitin Sawhney, Penguin Café and on a handful of film soundtracks. I have a very varied career, and I love it that way as every day it lets me explore new musical ground.
How did you get involved with Sonixinema?
DK: Sonixinema approached me a couple of months ago as they had been looking for a musician to collaborate with on a new sample library. They had seen some of my videos on youtube of me performing various extended techniques, and I think that sparked an idea in them that led us to where we are today.
Tell us about your cello
DK: My Cello was made in 1850 in a place in Germany called Mittenwald. I acquired it in 1994 and it’s been with me ever since. It’s grown with me as a musician which is a wonderful thing, so it responds to what I need it to do.
What do you think makes this library special?
DK: Recording this library for Sonixinema is exciting because there are a lot of string libraries out there, but not many that feature a solo instrument, but also more importantly a solo instrument using extended techniques and different techniques. I’m lucky enough that in the various gigs and concerts that I do that I can improvise and when you feel that freedom, you discover different kinds of sounds and techniques that you can get out of the instrument. It’s been a real joy to come here and actually be able to record those and make a sample library out of that because every time you play these techniques you feel like they would suit certain films, soundtracks, moods or dramatic landscapes, and I think it’s great that now we can finally get these different techniques down.
What are your thoughts on being a composer and having access to these sort of sounds?
DK: I think that often as a composer when you discover a new instrument, or even a new sound, you get instantly inspired so when you’ve got a sample library that can give you new thoughts, new ideas, new inspirations it can just then suddenly set things in motion. It’s much easier than being stuck in a room looking out of the window wondering “Where is my next idea coming from?”, so in that respect I think it’s really exciting, but also just to have a different palette to work opens a lot of doors musically.
For more information about Danny, visit www.dannykeanemusic.com