The Armed Man Album is by Karl Jenkins, the Welsh composer. The album was released in 2001 under the record label Virgin Records, now part of the Universal Music Group.
The Armed Man album was composed and produced by Karl Jenkins. The works, subtitled ” A Mass for Peace ” was recorded at Air Studios, Lyndhurst Road, London, England.
The studios have played host to a wide range of recording artists from different musical genres including Steeleye Span, Cliff Richard and Katie Melua.
The album features The National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Their contributions were recorded on the 24th of July 2000 and the 11th of August 2000 respectively.
Additional musicians and singers featured are Sopranos Susie Parked and Elizabeth Witt’s with Mezzo-Soprano Rachel Lloyd, Baritone Nicholas Merryweather and bass soloist from the choir Philip Shakesby.
The Royal Armouries Museum commissioned the Armed Man piece, initially housed in the Tower of London, it’s one of the oldest museums in the world and today is split over several sites in the country.
The work is an anti-war piece dedicated to the victims of the war in Kosovo and is based on the Catholic Mass with lyrics taken from different religions and cultures including Islam and Christianity.
The Armed Man album premiered at the Royal Albert Hall, London on the 25th of April 2000. The performance included Julian Lloyd Webber as the cello soloist and Grant Llewellyn conducting.
The Armed Man is one of Karl Jenkins’ most famous works. It has been performed over five hundred times across the world.
The album received positive reviews. Writing for the BBC Music website in 2010, Charlotte Gardner wrote ” this expertly performed recorded version gives a good flavour of its live power “.
The most popular track, Sanctus, highlights a sense of foreboding. The piece builds to give the listener a feeling of imminent war with military build-up. The words from the Ordinary Of The Mass are sung in Latin.
About Karl Jenkins
Karl William Pamp Jenkins was born on the 17th of February 1944 in Penclawdd, a village in the country of Swansea, Wales.
He studied music at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music, London, England. His early music career began with jazz and jazz-rock bands. In 1969, Karl Jankins co-founded Nucleus, an influential jazz fusion band.
In 1972 he joined English jazz-rock band, Soft Machine, which was not commercially successful but considered by music critics to be early pioneers of rock music.
Later, Karl Jenkins moved into composing music for advertising. He worked with companies like diamond merchants De Beers and jeans brand Levi Strauss & Co.
His composing breakthrough came with Adiemus, a series of new age albums.
As a renowned and internationally respected composer and conductor, Karl Jenkins has worked with various choirs, orchestras and recording artists including Mike Oldfield, Haley Westenra and British jazz composer and double bass player Barry Guy.
He has also worked with poets Janos Arany and Mererid Hopwood, who became the first woman to win the Chairing of the Bard at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
To date, Karl Jenkins’ Album releases are eight studio, three greatest hits and forty-one other works.
Karl Jenkins has numerous awards and holds several Doctorates and fellowships, including Cardiff University, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Trinity College Carmarthen and Swansea Metropolitan University.
The Armed Man Album Track Listing:
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