Young British multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Kiran Leonard is celebrating the release of his new album Derevaun Seraun with a handful of shows, including two performances at London’s St. Pancras Old Church tomorrow evening.
With literary works as the source of inspiration, Derevaun Seraun is in five movements, arranged entirely by Leonard for piano, strings and voice. He explains:
“Derevaun Seraun is a piece I wrote a couple years back in five movements for voice, piano and string trio. Each movement is written about a different piece of literature, exploring the value I see in each work and the impression it has made on me, and there is nothing more to it than that. The pleasure of books – of good verse and stories and ideas – is a very simple thing, and I felt that some lofty unifying theme for the entire piece would be a betrayal of that belief. I think that when a work resonates with you it is an instinctive response to something. You can be taught to understand a challenging book, but not to feel affection for it; I think a lot of conversation around art, especially around literature, sometimes forgets this. In my experience, the art I like the most, irrespective of its ‘difficulty’, is the art I can advocate most directly and plainly, and about which I can say: “I read this piece and now I do not read or think in the same way that I did before”, or: “This is a story that I could not explain to someone; I do not understand it word-for- word, yet I feel like innately I understand the whole, and that the whole spoke to me”. This is a piece about five books that I like and why I like them.”
Take a look at Leonard’s full list of stops here and don’t miss his utterly beautiful and spellbinding songcraft come to life with a string trio. To entice you further, listen to the album’s lead single ‘Living With Your Ailments’ inspired by Albert Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus and opening track ‘Could She Still Draw Back?’ inspired James Joyce’s short story Eyeline.
Derevaun Seraun is out on September 22nd via Moshi Moshi.